WATER WATER EVERYWHERE
But not enought to drink...such is the scenario. Here today and gone tomorrow. A story by Nathan Jafay in the Jewish Chronicle spells it out; water is at the lowest level on record. The Kinneret, known to most as the Sea of Galilee, the body of H2o on which Christ walked and the disciples fished, is about to go. It is the lowest fresh-water lake in the world, 33 x 13 miles. It provides a third of the country's water; the Talmud asserted that God chose it as his special delight. But the Knesset must not see eye to eye with the Creator; they have allowed it to be pumped to dangerous levels. Jafay points out that at the same time there has been an all-round failure top invest adequately in desalination plants (note comments to follow), which stands at a third of the target set by the government in 2002. Aquifers and wells have not been properly rehabilitated. Toilets are flushed with drinking water because rainwater harvesting is almost unheard of. There are virtually no public campaigns to save water. Now get this; agriculture uses 30% of water. Well, make the farming sector reinvest so that there is no net loss to the country. As Jafay notes, "exporting fruit and vegetables is akin to exporting water."
And what about cotton, one of the most water intensive plants in the world - even more water intensive if the trendy Katherine Hamnett crowd gets their expensive organic cotton shirts from an organic cotton plantation - how much water can the country afford to lose to this monocrop? Anti-Semites never had it so good; Israel is about to run dry of water because of this plant. And to add to irony, it is not Ahmadinejad who is behind this crazy policy, it is the likes of nice Jewish guy Philip Green who is benefitting from the misery of the cotton industry. But do you expect him to care for Israel? Mishling material I say; his name is an irony.
Israel desperately needs to get rid of cotton and conserve water. If it grows textiles, let it grow desert plants such as sisal, and less water intensive plants such as hemp. The former can be grown in the Negev, and the latter as well, if desalination plants are put in. These can be a by-product to the solar power industry - large towers full of water heated with mirrors. Salt water turned to steam, with fresh water as a by product. It is so simple it cannot be rebutted. And cheap too, glass and water. So what are we waiting for?