Water for Life
KKL-JNF is a pioneer in water recycling and recycles 85% of the water used in Israel through advanced technologies. This is accomplished by collecting, treating and recycling water from agriculture, sewage, flash floods and urban runoff, thereby developing alternative water sources while saving precious fresh water sources for drinking. Water produced by KKL-JNF is used for agriculture and for rehabilitation of polluted rivers, streams and stream banks, contributing significantly to the improvement of Israel’s environment.
Every Drop is Precious – KKL-JNF's Water Reservoirs
To date, KKL-JNF has built over 230 water reservoirs throughout Israel that produce 300 million cubic meters of water annually from treated sewage, runoff and floodwater. The water in reservoirs built by KKL-JNF provides about 70% of the water used for Israeli agriculture. The sewage water is collected and recycled, preventing it from seeping into and polluting the rivers, soil, underground water sources and lakes. The quality of the water in the reservoirs is significantly upgraded, as the treatment process allows for the settling and oxygenation processes to happen and for the microbes that break up the remaining organic matter to do their work. As an added bonus, the reservoirs add beauty to the local surroundings, provide a habitat for many birds and fish, create ecological hubs and also provide an environment that gladdens the eyes and souls of local residents.
Recycling Urban Runoff – Biofilters in Israel's Cities
Urban runoff collected by city drainage systems eventually pollutes groundwater and sea water. KKL-JNF is implementing an innovative project in which urban runoff is treated by biofilters, a facility that purifies rainwater so that it can be used to refresh depleted underground aquifers. The biofilter, which looks like a shallow basin of vegetation, uses several purifying layers of plants, sand and bacteria to purify the urban runoff, which contains high levels of metals and other toxic materials. The water is fed through a series of wells descending to a depth of 87 meters, and then filtered into the aquifer. The hope is that within a few years, biofilters will replenish Israel’s coastal aquifer, which has become so polluted in recent years that most of the water is unfit for consumption.
Due to decades of neglect, Israel’s rivers and streams became sewage canals for industrial and agricultural waste and the dumping ground for municipal garbage. KKL-JNF has taken upon itself the responsibility of rehabilitating polluted rivers and their surroundings. This includes removing pollutants, restoring the flow channels and anchoring riverbanks, scenic restoration, soil conservation, landscaping and developing parks, trails and other infrastructure for recreation in nature. The systems developed by KKL-JNF to supply water to the streams and prevent pollution are simple and easy to maintain, which ensures their long life and economic feasibility.
Water for the Desert – Limans in the Negev
Throughout history, desert dwellers in Israel have made use of a variety of methods to retain water resources in danger of evaporating or flowing away from the delicate desert ecosystem. Today, KKL-JNF combines these ancient techniques with modern technology to combat desertification and restore the Negev Desert's original landscape by the construction of limans, along with other innovative methods. A liman is an earthwork that collects floodwater by means of a dam in a gully or riverbed. Trees are planted in the flooded area of the dam. This method is used to augment and protect harvests, improve grazing land, accelerate tree growth in forested areas, prevent soil erosion, combat salinization of the soil and enrich groundwater. Although there are a number of different types of limans in the Negev, all of them operate in accordance with the same basic principles.
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