Israel the "Silicon Valley" of Water Technology

Israel is exporting its water technology across the globe, billing itself as the “Silicon Valley of water technology."

Ezra HaLevi ,

Water technology
Water technology

Israel, though lacking in natural water resources, is exporting its water technology across the globe, billing itself as the “Silicon Valley of water technology,” in the words of Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer.

The Infrastructures Ministry recently launched NEW-Tech (Novel Efficient Water Technologies), a program aimed at promoting Israeli water technologies.

NEW-tech will coordinate between Israeli government agencies, private companies and academic institutions to maximize Israel’s role in the global water market. The technologies focused upon include desalination, water purification, irrigation, sewage treatment, waste-water recycling, leakage prevention, water security, usage planning and infrastructure construction.

The goal of NEW-tech is to double the export of Israeli water technologies by 2010 to $2 billion. Director Oded Distel believes that water technology will become the Israeli economy’s main growth engine in the future.

Last week, 2,000 participants from 80 countries attended a water technology conference in Tel Aviv.

Booky Oren, one of the organizers, explained Israel’s role in the coming global water crisis to Globes: “Water shortage is a problem we in Israel have been acquainted with for quite some time,” he said. “We’re situated in one of the most arid regions in the world, and we have always had to develop new ways of national water management, drip irrigation, recycling and purifying wastewater, water desalination and even alternative energy-geothermal power technologies. As a result, Israel is poised to play a major role in supplying the world with cutting-edge water and environmental solutions.

“Israel has an incredible diversity of climate types. As a result, we have situated ourselves as a prime beta-site for developing new water and environmental technologies. The national Mekorot water company has 3,000 installations, which have served as test-bedding for more than 200 new water and environmental technologies. Besides that, you have the technological entrepreneurial spirit here, with more venture dollars invested than in most US states or countries in the world. The result is a huge variety of proven water and environmental solutions.”