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How Israel Became a Water Superpower

Israel is known around the world as one of the leaders in water conservation and management. Since the beginning, Israeli innovators worked to find solutions to a lack of water supply in the Jewish state. And, after much effort, such as educating the public on water conservation and purifying sewage water for reuse in farming, many look to Israel for a solution to the world's water shortage.In Seth M. Siegel's new book called "Let There Be Water: Israel's Solution for a Water-Starved World," he explains how Israel became a water superpower. Writers at The Times of Israel interviewed Siegel about his new book:What they want to learn, explains Siegel, is how a country that is 60 percent desert and whose population increased tenfold since 1948 not only has enough water for itself, but in fact has a surplus and even exports water to its neighbors. In the 1930s British economists predicted that all of Palestine — including today’s Gaza, Israel and the West Bank, had enough water to sustain 2 million people. Today, the area is home to more than 12 million people, a feat that Siegel attributes in large part to Israel’s first-class water planning and management...Siegel maintains that Israel’s water accomplishment is more unique and more deeply part of what it means to be Israeli than its identity as a high-tech powerhouse.Indeed, one could argue that the ancient nation of Israel was forged out of water insecurity. In Deuteronomy 11:10-12, God helpfully explains that there is no big river in the land of Israel for the nation to irrigate its crops, and instead it will have to rely on rainfall.“For the land that you are about to enter and possess is not like the land of Egypt from which you have come. There the grain you sowed had to be watered by your own labors, like a vegetable garden; but the land you are about to cross into and possess, a land of hills and valleys, soaks up its water from the rains of heaven.”Siegel points out that Zionist settlers were overwhelmingly secular but arrived with a familiarity with the Bible and Jewish tradition. This no doubt contributed to their obsession with water security...“I say that Israel’s origins and heritage are to be light unto the nations. The desire is to do justice is part of Israel’s heritage. But pragmatically, Israel has seen time and again that its water smarts help open doors.”


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More than 60 Fellowship supporters join Rabbi Eckstein and Fellowship staff on a tour of Israel, which includes visits to project areas and biblical and historic sites in the Holy Land.

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The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) funds humanitarian aid to the needy in Israel and in Jewish communities around the world, promotes prayer and advocacy on behalf of the Jewish state, and provides resources that help build bridges of understanding between Christians and Jews.

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