International Fellowship of Christians and Jews

Water is the New Oil

Israel has always had to contend with too much desert, and too little water. Since the days of antiquity, scientist and great minds in Israel have tackled the problem of water scarcity. In fact, archaeological digs in the Negev have shown that ancient settlers devised ways to conserve whatever precious water they had. Wells, cisterns, dams, and public reservoirs have been unearthed, demonstrating the creative ways ancient people saved water. Today, the water dwindles and the population grows, and the Middle East finds itself in yet another crisis.

Politically, the region’s water sources are quickly becoming as contentious as its oil supplies. The Middle East, known for its hot, dry, nearly rainless climate, is dealing with a population surge—particularly in Israel—that is draining its few water resources. The two main sources of water in the region are the Jordan River Basin, which originates in Lebanon, and the Tigris-Euphrates Basin, originating in Turkey. However, since the waters are shared among many countries, including Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Israel, disputes and political disagreements are rampant. Syria accuses Turkey of building dams on the Euphrates River, essentially drying out Syria. The Lebanese contend that the Israel seeks to divert the water from the Litani River, in Lebanon, for use in Israel; the Israeli government counters it has no such plans.

In Israel, the main water sources are the Sea of Galilee (the Kinneret), which is the country’s largest fresh-water source and is dependent on the Jordan River Basin; the Coastal Aquifer, along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea; and the Mountain Aquifer, under the Carmel Mountain range. In addition to those major sources, there are other, smaller sources dispersed throughout the country. The Mountain Aquifer, which runs under the West Bank, is a major source of contention between Israelis and Palestinians. Palestinians claim that Israel saps most of the water resources while simultaneously charging the Palestinians a much higher rate to access the water.

In an effort to procure more water, Israel has been in talks with Turkey regarding the construction of an energy pipeline between the two countries which would allow for the transport of water, electricity, gas, and oil. The agreement is viewed as a natural “next step” for the two countries whose governments have signed dozens of agreements over the years dealing with arms, agriculture, and tourism.

But it is more efficient and cost-effective to save what you have rather than trying to buy more. Israel has always been at the forefront of the water conservation movement. “Drip irrigation” is a technology which is synonymous with Israel, and in fact, though forms of the conservation method had been around for years, it was an Israeli scientist who pioneered the modern method. In addition to saving water, drip irrigation allows the use of recycled or “grey” water, lower labor costs, and lower energy costs, as the water drips at a lower pressure. (The widespread use of treated grey water for agriculture, along with consistent public awareness campaigns regarding water conservation, make Israel one of the most water resource-conscious nations in the world.)

Israel’s National Water Carrier was established in 1964 as another creative way to solve Israel’s water crisis. The water carrier’s main goal was to transport water from the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret), in the relatively lush north of Israel to its densely populated center and very arid south. Since the plan’s success involved diverting water from the Jordan to the Kinneret, the water carrier has been a source of tension between Israel, and Syria and Jordan. The construction of the water carrier in the 1960s was one of the precipitating causes of Syria’s involvement in the Six Day War. Even today, Syria claims the reason Israel refuses to withdraw from the Golan Heights is because it would deny the country access to precious water sources there.

As a result of these complicated needs and considerations, Israel is quickly becoming a world leader in desalination. Desalination, also known as “reverse osmosis,” is the process of removing excess salt and minerals from water, to make it fit for human consumption. Desalination experts view the water crisis as a problem of excess salt rather than too little water. The Ashkelon Desalination Plant, built at a cost of over one billion NIS (approximately four billion dollars) is the world’s largest such operation. The plant produces about 5% – 6% of Israel’s water needs daily, and at one of the lowest costs in the world for desalinated water (approximately fifty-three cents per cubic meter of water). The plant boasts an on-site power plant, meaning the desalination process is not subject to disruptions, allowing the supply and the cost to remain constant. However, the cost is still considered too high for agricultural needs, and scientists are continuing to develop new technologies to make the process more cost-effective. In a move to bolster both research and cooperation between Israel and Jordan, NATO’s Science for Peace program and the Middle East Desalination Research Center recently awarded a grant to three universities—one Israeli, one Jordanian, and one American—to set up desalination plants in Israel and Jordan.

Another attempt to “water” the region is an agreement between Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Jordan to build a canal from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea in order to channel more water to the rapidly drying out Dead Sea, as well as provide drinking water for people of the region. Jordan recently decided to begin the first phase of the canal on its own, without help from the Israeli government or PA. However, all actions are coordinated with Israel.

Sharing the region’s precious water supplies while working in tandem to develop new, innovative solutions is not easy in a region fraught with enemies and uneasy alliances. Israel has been at the forefront of cutting-edge green water technology and continues to work with its neighbors in an effort to find a workable solution.

What do you think?

  • Roadpathonthereef, New Time's
    June 9, 2015
    7:05 pm

    His American Leaderships Today In That Future, He Needs To Be More Careful.Because Jewish Community Will Go Back To His Jerusalem Holy Mountains, To Be More Fruitful,Protected And Massively Bless,.

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  • Randy
    April 4, 2013
    5:11 pm

    According to the old testament,there is a precise description of the springs, the lord will cause to flow, in the latter days, if then, you would drill precisely in these areas, there will be water.

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  • tony
    February 22, 2013
    9:02 am

    concerning water that can be relatively easy but weae are the suplyies going to come from if you can be a producer of dissilanation units in israel the powering would not be a problem and concerning you limited land use i can help show you and might be able grant a soultion to the concern of israel and to that of christains i am concerned but many of the applyication due to tradition politics and finicial matters is holding the nation back from realisation of certen applyication of working out the peace in the middel east, now to understand a fully relisable peace is not going to be acheaved in ways you may be abel to relat to but i can show you some recource to a lesshamperd soultion to some groups of the business resaons of reasoning

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  • Reuel K
    December 11, 2012
    11:06 pm

    Jerusalem is the City of God. He settled Abraham there & soon HE will settle there in person! Let us be very sober in the way we handle the Apple of HIS eye. Iam a Kenyan whose prayers you can count

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    • Pamela
      February 13, 2013
      10:02 pm

      AMEN and AMEN! Reuel I fill the very same way. I pray this fools take the plank out of their eyes so they can see the truth and not be blinded by worldly crap!

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  • Maria
    July 30, 2011
    5:20 am

    The majority in America loves Israel. We pray for your peace and our Heavenly Father’s favor for Israel. Our government has announced support for Israel recently and I believe it’s due to our citizens’ who are outraged by the lack of respect for our best friend, Israel. Those of us who know better love you and don’t want the Lord’s wrath for not obeying His command to love and honor Israel. Their is a Hitler in every generation from Biblical times, but the Lord has always and will continue to rescue his people! May the Lord continue to give your leaders the wisdom to protect and prosper the Holy Land. Love, Maria

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    • Stephen
      March 13, 2012
      1:34 am

      As a decent, honorable, kind, moral, decent, law-abiding, God-fearing, hard-working (currently unemployed and looking for work), industrious, reliable, honest, politically-incorrect, anti-multicultralist, proud, unhyphenated American (who hopes to be a gun-owner someday), I pray that Israel will still exist as a Jewish State (which I gravely fear is being intentionally destroyed by TRAITORS in virtually the entire U.S. Government [save for those who, both in action and in word, fiercely defend Israel and her right to exist and defend herself from all enemies foreign and domestic]). I am trying now to get involved in the Jewish community again and do my part (although very small in scale) to help the Jewish community and to get others to wake up to what is coming. I pray that Americans, this time, will wake up and IMPEACH this TRAITOR and the ENTIRE administration (for a very long list of abuses and crimes such as TREASON). As an American, who embraces the Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence as my Torah, I rather die on my feet as a free man than to live on my knees as a slave to any Foreign Power or to the U.S.S.A. for even one second under any circumstances. As Patrick Henry (who helped shape the path of freedom for the Colonists in the mid 1700s in the Thirteen Colonies and an endearing symbol for liberty and 2nd Amendment liberty to protect ourselves against tryanny and despotism in all its shapes and forms both from abroad and from within), once said in 1775 (excerpted): “…Give me Liberty, or Give me Death!”
      May God bless and protect Bibi Netanyahu; the Fogel Family; G-d’s chosen people in Israel; the honorable, proud, moral, and decent men and women of the U.S. military (i.e.: the Marines, Navy Seals, Army, Navy, Air Force, UCMC, the Reserve, Veterans, etc.) and their families; Christians United for Israel; the Tea Party; Andrew Breitbart’s family and loved ones; Glenn Beck; Christians and Jews all throughout the world; the Constitutional Republic of the United States; the Declaration of Independence; The Founding Fathers; the Federalist Papers; Moses; Jesus; the Ancient Tribes of Israel and their Prophets Abraham, Jacob, and Joeseph; decent, honorable, kind, law-abiding, God-fearing, gun-owning, hard-working, honest, proud, unhyphenated Americans; and the State of Israel. Amen.

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      • Michael
        June 28, 2013
        9:27 am

        ..May Almighty GOD preserve you and keep you as a mighty source of knowledge,and praise…Keep the information coming,get your CCI.permit,purchase that revolver,(more reliable than a semi-auto)And take up reloading!U.S.ARMY,Ret.

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  • Chuck
    June 17, 2011
    8:49 pm

    I love Israel! My “Lord Jesus,His Father,” both Bless Israel and the USA as long as we don’t hurt our best friend Israel! God Bless us All

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  • john
    May 19, 2011
    12:44 pm

    I pray that America will always stand by Israel no matter what, I am an American I love Israel and the jewish people though I have not met you personaly GOD has put in my heart to let Israel know there are Americans that love you dearly and will always be united to Israel and the jewish people GOD Bless Israel and America.

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  • Woldemariam
    May 11, 2011
    5:56 am

    We belive in the Existance of Israel, for the People and the Children of Israel. God Bless the Holy Land, Ertiz Israel…AMEN!

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  • judith
    February 10, 2011
    9:04 pm

    God is the Alpha and the Omega. He has lead His people out of bondage so many times, and the land of Israel is holy and the chosen people. Jesus Christ Son of God came from the tree of Jesse. I stand for God, Israel, Peace, The Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible. I believe in the word, so I will pray and ask all those who I know believe to pray for, Israel.

    Reply to this comment »
    • harry
      April 22, 2012
      12:52 pm

      god is going to set us free again this is very true we have one more exodus comeing i dont know when but very soon. we will have wings as an eagle we will soar with our god. jesus will set us free. this is soon to come. who will be going the ones who do the will of our father. who art in heaven. i pray that we will be worthy. because as in the day of noah many will miss the boat. we must become like him if we want to go. step out of this world an into his spirit. an hold fast to what we have. love holyness. pure at heart. shalom

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  • Harold
    February 10, 2011
    8:29 pm

    The answer to Rita’s comment quoting the Bibleis I believe is the truthful answer to for the solution to the water problem.The Bible has the answers for all problems in the world.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Shirley
    December 10, 2010
    7:59 am

    God will either send blessings, or the curses will come on us. If there is a curse which is not enough water, there must be self-sanctification and purifying of our vessels. And REPENTANCE, knowing that Jesus is Lord of all. He died for our sins, but we must have DAILY repentance so that we might remain in right standing with Him. There is only one (1) way to God Almighty, and that is solely through Jesus Christ, who is the Lord of Lords and King of Kings!

    Reply to this comment »
  • Winston
    December 10, 2010
    7:51 am

    God is able to do whatever He decides to do. However is it within our power to help fulful some of his prophecies? Perhaps we can do a little more to help God’s work move along.

    One night I laid awake with a consuming idea in my mind. Perhaps this was inspiration, perhaps it was indigestion. Please take five minutes to consider this on a technical, practical, and spiritual basis.

    The prophecy of Ezekial chapter 47 weighed on my mind. This chapter describes a river flowing out from under the house of the Lord, becomes a stream, then a river, and flows into the Dead Sea. This water heals the Dead Sea and creates life as it flows downhill. However, the marshes and mires of the river will not be healed, they will be given to salt.

    What if we simply put up a water pipeline with successive pumping stations to get sea water to Jerusalem, then let it flow down a man made river bed to the dead sea. The simple act of flowing over dirt and rocks will desalinate it to some degree.

    After a year or two, we divert it into a parallel man made river bed so that we can scoop the salty dirt to the side and prepare the first river bed to be reused. By diverting the water back and forth between the two river beds, we have time to recondition the river beds.

    Ocean water can also be diverted to emergency water treatment plants in Jerusalem in the event of a severe drought or siege on the city.

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  • Wendy
    December 9, 2010
    4:43 pm

    We must trust God for divine help. We must also pray for our President (I’m American). I’m going to pray for rain for Israel. I am also going to pray that President Obama will become concerned for the people there and help get water to all of you. I am also going to email him and let him know about the draught and ask him to help. With Love! Wendy

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  • Don
    May 8, 2010
    5:31 pm

    I have heard that Israel reclaims about 70% of its wastewater. Is that true? and if so, how much of the potable water supply does that represent?

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  • Don
    April 16, 2010
    9:07 am

    It is my thought that this is where the battle for Israel must be fought the hardest. All thru history, he who controls the water controls the area around it. I have read when King David was going to take Jerusalem he took control of the cistern which won him the capital. We should remember that. I also wonder why no one has tried to get the water out of the air with a condenser unit. All air contains water that is pure. My prayer is that this will be shown. Peace be with you.

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  • Rita
    January 7, 2010
    11:09 am

    I read somewhere that there is an underground River in Israel If so why not find it and find a way to get that water? God would not have brought the Jews back to thier homeland and not provided plenty of water for them. Pray and have faith that god will show you this water.

    Reply to this comment »
    • Stand For Israel
      January 7, 2010
      12:17 pm

      Rita, Israelis use a number of (depleted) underground aquifers, but there aren’t any actual underground rivers. All of Israel’s water–the aquifers, the Sea of Galilee–are entirely dependent on rainfall, a fact that Jewish tradition notes makes abundantly clear humanity’s complete dependence on Divine Providence.

      As it is written: “So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul- 14 then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and oil. 15 I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.” (Deuteronomy 11:13-15)

      Rain is not something man can control but water conservation and new technologies certainly help!

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      • Susan
        December 9, 2010
        5:50 pm

        Amen! God says He creates physical calamity because of the moral calamity created by man. He is in control. If we want His blessings let us humble ourselves, repent and turn unto Him. He promises, at that point, to heal our land and defeat out enemies.

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    • david
      August 14, 2010
      6:26 pm

      cant we by rights to americas rivers that flow in to the ocians and sell some hear and give some there i am an american and have the right to donate what ever i wish thoe would need a backer or any christian friend of the jews.

      Reply to this comment »
      • Jerry
        December 14, 2010
        10:53 am

        David, the US government is presently in the process of redefining “the territorial waters of the USA.” The new definition, if adopted, would put all water within the US (down to and including puddles) under the control of the US Federal Government. Ergo, you will not have the right to give any of it away because it won’t belong to you.

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        • Maria
          July 30, 2011
          5:38 am

          Wow, this is discouraging considering the fact that we are fighting for our freedoms in the U.S. I believe God will provide water for those who serve him regardless of our government’s goal to control the people. Paul said that to die is to gain. My daughter passed away 2 wks ago. She battled a lung disease her entire life, she still lived in happiness and she saw heaven. Her death was amazing because she gave accounts of Heaven, God told us He was taking her and He confirmed it with the fact that she passed and her numerous accounts of Jesus and Heaven were amazing. She passed with a smile and said Heaven! I now minister to the sick and handicap because nothing separates us from God. We live forever in Christ. Through God’s plan for salvation…His only begotten Son’s death on the cross we will gain in death. My favorite scripture is this: In the beginning their was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God! Jesus is the Word. Through Christ He made all things. God spoke things into Existence and Christ is what holds all things together. He wasn’t just a man; He was our Creator who put himself in a nervous system, died a terrible death, and controlled His own death! May God strengthen you Israel. I look at your continual overcoming of your enemies in awe. The true living God is of Israel!

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