Despite tensions in the region, 25,000 people from 100 countries are attending the 2015 Water Technology and Environment Control Exhibition (WATEC) conference held in Tel Aviv this week, one of the largest water technology events in the world, featuring 150 exhibitors and dozens of speakers.
According to the UN, 1.2 billion people (almost one-fifth of the world’s population) live in areas where water is scarce, and another 500 million people are nearing this situation. This pressing issue is met at WATEC this week with a host of Israeli solutions, from seawater desalination and water conservation, to grey water recycling and wastewater treatment. Other pressing issues on the agenda include drip irrigation (an agricultural technology developed and perfected in Israel primarily by Netafim) and water purification.
Many WATEC attendees are looking to bring such solutions to their countries. And so is Mark LeChevallier, director of innovation and environmental stewardship for American Water, one of America’s largest publicly traded water utility companies. His company is “looking into the Israeli water companies and water-related technologies, trying to find the next big thing and import it to the US,” says LeChevallier, who’s currently meeting with Israeli entrepreneurs at WATEC in order to find projects to collaborate with.
Nuno Fragoso and Angeles Ramos, executives at Spanish engineering firm EPTISA who are attending the conference, tell NoCamels they’re looking for water technologies to be used in arid areas of Southern Spain, but not only. “We have projects all around the world, we can help Israeli companies expand into Latin America,” Fragoso says. Angeles says EPTISA is looking “to form a consortium of strong companies that can solve water shortages. I believe Israel can provide these solutions.”
According to Israel’s Minister of Economy Aryeh Deri, who spoke at the conference, Israel is a “global leader in developing innovative and breakthrough technologies to manage scarce water resources.” Since 50 percent of Israel is made up of desert – and with recurring droughts – over the years the Israeli government, scientists and companies have developed cutting-edge solutions to avoid water shortages. Now, most of Israel’s drinking water comes from desalination plants that are scattered around the country. “Israel has become an oasis of water technologies,” Deri told a mixed crowd of Israelis and internationals at a WATEC panel discussion on Tuesday.
If you want more information on the companies showcasing at the WATEC event, or more information on Israeli water technologies in general, please don’t hesitate to contact our offices by mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .