Israeli water experts visit

Professor Noam Weisbrod.

THREE of Israel’s leading water experts will visit New South Wales and Queensland this month to tour drought-affected country areas.

An initiative of the Israeli embassy and JNF, the purpose of the visit will be to share Israel’s successful experience in dealing with acute water shortages for the benefit of farmers and the general public.

Former Water Commissioner of the State of Israel Shimon Tal, director of the Blaustein Institute for Desert Research and past director of the Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research (ZIWR) Prof Noam Weisbrod, and founding director of ZIWR Prof Eilon Adar will tour rural areas and engage with key stakeholders while in Australia.

Israeli embassy spokesperson Eman Amasha said, “Israel is long recognised as the world leader in confronting water shortages and has developed highly sophisticated expertise and technological wherewithal in water creation, purification, utilisation, conservation and management which are employed throughout the globe.

“All of these will be placed at the disposal of the national and state governments,” she said.

“The initiative stems from the excellent relations which exist between Israel and Australia, and between Israel and the states of Queensland and NSW, and it carries the potential to mutually develop a long-term project and strategy in the field of water which will benefit both countries.”

JNF CEO Dan Springer said both Israel and JNF have a long history of dealing with water issues and this visit “was seen as a great opportunity to apply some of this experience while continuing to strengthen relations between Israel and Australia at federal, state and grassroots levels”.

JNF is funding the visit through its donors and also working with the embassy to coordinate the experts’ itinerary. It will also follow up after the visit.

Springer welcomed the opportunity to work with the embassy, noting that JNF and the embassy had independently developed similar ideas and then joined forces to facilitate the visit.

“The vast majority of our projects are in Israel itself and so we welcome this opportunity. It provides the chance to apply experience that JNF has realised over decades in Israel locally as a form of giving back,” he said.

“We not only give back to our local communities but we’re also strengthening the ties between Australia and Israel not just at the higher level but also at the tachlis level.”

GARETH NARUNSKY