Delegates from a number of municipalities across South Africa have picked up expertise on water management after returning from this week’s bi-annual Israel-Africa Water Conference in Tel Aviv, Israel. 

The WATEC conference was attended by 10,000 visitors, including delegates from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), several dozen South Africans, and other countries. 

Water professionals from the mining, engineering, financial and other sectors were also in attendance.

WATEC is Israel’s largest water management exhibition and conference. Israeli Ambassador to South Africa Lior Keinan, said “as expressed to President Jacob Zuma recently, Israel is happy to help share its extensive knowledge in water management solutions to the people of South Africa.”

Besides participating in the conference, the municipal delegation spent the rest of the week on a professional expedition visiting different sites.

This included a visit to the water company of Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, where they learnt how the city manages its water systems and achieves outstanding high water efficiencies.

They visited a mega desalination plant in Hadera, one of Israel’s 5 mega plants and the biggest SWRO plant in the world.

They also visited Tel Aviv’s regional waste water works that treats waste water from close to 2 million people back to drinking level. This water is then used for irrigation.

Head of the Economic Mission at Israel’s Embassy in South Africa, Itai Melchior, said that “this visit is another way Israeli expertise plays a positive role in South Africa which faces serious drought, climate change and water management challenges”.

Israel is a world leader in water management technologies, having developed these capabilities to overcome sever water shortage.

The positive water balance achieved allows Israel to increase their sharing of water with their neighbours in Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.

Technologies Israel is famous for include desalination, waste water reclamation, drip irrigation and a wide range of innovations that have led Israeli municipalities to be world leaders in minimizing water losses. (less than 10 percent as opposed to close to 40 percent in some of the metros in SA). – African News Agency (ANA)