The water seminar that we promoted here, and was part from WATEC 2013, took place in Tel-Aviv and gained many compliments. It was defined as a success. As we mentioned it was organised by the Ministry of Economy in cooperation with the OECD.
Why is the water issue so important? and what Israel can contribute? This is what Anthony Cox, head of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Environment Directorate has to say about that. He was interviewed by the Jerusalem Post.
“What we have to do now is look at the water resource management systems we have in place,” he told the Post. “Are they capable of meeting the demands that are going to come from this increased competition? Are we able to improve the water efficiency sufficiently?” To do so, Cox explained, cities have to ensure they have proper pricing and financial systems in place, which encourage innovation and are consistent with the watershed the municipalities receive. Meanwhile, governments must recognize that ongoing climate change is having an enormous impact on water, causing extreme weather events such as floods and droughts and affecting the availability of a stable water supply.
“Climate change is essentially water change, so that will be the first important way in which climate change will be felt,” Cox said. “If we don’t have the systems in place that allow us to respond to the changing climatic conditions, then it’s going to be a real challenge.”
“There are a lot of very innovative and strong features around Israel’s urban water management that we often make use of in our work on water as an example of good practice,” Cox said. Israel, he noted, has made great strides in trying to bring about a more integrated approach in terms of water policies, and combining water needs with those of agriculture, regional development and energy.“Israel also makes good use of pricing mechanisms. It is very innovative on the consumer side and the demand side,” Cox added.
The full interview: