DSC04484A delegation of urban water-management visited Israel from June 1st-9th, 2013, to explore new technologies and establish business connections and partnerships with leading Israeli water companies. The delegation comprises about 12 entrepreneurs from urban water management sector, led by the Economic department of Israeli Embassy in New Delhi with the support of the Ministry of Economy-Investment Promotion Center, Hagihon – Jerusalem Regional Water & Wastewater Company, Israel Water Authority and The Weitz Center for Development Studies.

The participants were from the states of Haryana, Rajasthan, Goa and Bangalore. All were from senior management and engineering departments in either the Municipalities, or related to Boards or departments in their respective states for providing / managing drinking water, sewerage treatment. The participants were excited and came with high expectations. They were all taking the programme seriously. This was reflected in Q&A that followed each session.

The Indian delegation had the opportunity to get introduced to innovative Israeli companies specializing in Sewerage treatment (old and new), Water conservation, Remote Meter Reading, Water supply and sources, RO system, etc. During their 5 day stay, they also had the opportunity to visit water facilities and sewage treatment installations and meet the officials of Naan-Dan-Jain, Hagihon, Mekorot, Mei Raanana, Standards Institute Water Authority, etc.

Highlights of the feedback from some of the participants:

  • Water price in Israel is  130 – 160 per unit, Non-Revenue Water is less than 6% of Bills realised from all users. Company can access
  • Users bank account recovery as mandated by law.
  • Meters are smart meters; many can be read from distance. The company analyses consumption pattern and continuous monitoring in case of noticeable changes.
  • Meters are changed every 5 years per company policy. The company at Jerusalem caters to 1 million populations and has 235 employees, many jobs are out sourced.
  • The water utility company has freedom in its working, is able to change tariff.
  • The customer services, attending to complaints, billing methods, GIS in the distribution of pipes, valves etc. were much appreciated.

Whereas in India, rates are around  5 or lesser in some states for instance Haryana charges  1. Even this amount is realised from Less than 50% users.

According to the participants from the States, the Water filtration systems, treatment plants for water and sewage are similar in technology aspects in India and Israel.  In Israel, they observed strict compliances, automation, good operating procedures. Several states are also recycling waste water and using the water for agriculture.

The professional tour provided participants with a clear understanding of various water management policies and mechanisms used in the urban setting, exposure to cutting edge water & wastewater technologies including among others: water treatment, waste water treatment, water desalination facilities, storm water drainage, etc.

The meeting with Israeli private companies with new and innovative technologies was also appreciated. The companies were invited to meet the states in their next visit to India.

You’ll be able to read more at this NY Times report

Mr. Vinod Mehta is a senior trade officer in the Commercial Department at the Embassy