Ministerial Committee Passes Water Recycling Bill

A purifier in every home? Bill to recycle sink, shower water for reuse passes in Ministerial Committee for Legislation.

Hezki Baruch and Tova Dvorin ,

Tap/faucet (illustrative)
Tap/faucet (illustrative)
Chen Leopold/Flash90

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved a crucial water-filtering bill Sunday, which - if ratified into law - would introduce water recycling into private homes.

According to the proposal, submitted by MK Zevulun Kalfa (Jewish Home), water from sinks and showers would be transferred to a water purification tank in every home, where it would be filtered - then used again in toilets and lawn sprinklers. 

The Ministry of Health expressed support for the proposal subject to a government bill over the issue which is expected to be presented in the coming months.

MK Kalfa said, "I am pleased that the Ministerial Committee decided to support the bill, which would bring economic savings, save water and contribute to environmental protection."

"'Gray water' makes up about 30% of the water consumption of an average family," he continued. "Beyond saving fresh water, the bill would also bring financial savings of about 30% of the private water bill each household and family, helping to reduce the cost of living overall."

Kalfa added: "The approval of the proposal helps include the public in collective efforts to solve the water crisis, and will make residents active in reducing water consumption, while also adding educational value over the need to conserve water."

Israel faced a near-unprecedented water crisis last winter, the Israeli Agricultural Federation said in February 2014, after seeing very little rainfall over several months during what normally is the sole rainy season. 

In March, the Water Authority announced that the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee)'s water level had dropped by four centimeters since the rainy season began, compared to a 1.97 meter rise over the same five-month period in 2013. 

This winter, Israel has seen the opposite: abundant rainfall which has brought frequent flooding to coastal cities. 

However, the bill could prove effective in reducing Israel's water consumption overall in the long term, as Israel has a long history of drought.