Innovation Blog

Innovative Use of Waste Water: Israel’s Shafdan Treatment Plant

By Shlomo Maital

 

 

Negev Tomato grown  with treated waste water

So far, winter has failed to appear in Israel. Normal winter rains have not occurred.  With a worldwide water shortage, and a particularly fierce water shortage in the Mideast, this is a cause of worry.

    On the plus side, necessity has spurred innovation.  Very quietly, Israel has proved to be a world leader in the recycling of waste water.  Some 75 per cent of total treated raw sewage is reused in agriculture in Israel, or about 350 m. cubic meters of water.  No other country comes close, as this table (provided by the Israeli Water Company, Mekorot, shows):

—————————————————-

      water reuse rates:

 Israel    Spain    Australia Italy     Greece Central Europe and USA 

 75%       12%       9%            8%      5%         1%

 The centerpiece of this innovation is the Shafdan wastewater treatment plant in the densely-populated Greater Tel Aviv region.   This plant alone treats 130 m. cu. m. of water annually.  The water quality is high, making it suitable for all forms of irrigation, including for oranges, carrots, potatoes, lettuce, wheat and flowers.  On a personal note:  My daughter and her family live in the Western Negev and their hothouses use the treated water from Shafdan to grow peppers, cherry tomatoes and other vegetables for export.    A special 90 km. pipeline has been built to the Negev, carrying water from reservoirs and other sources specifically for purposes of agriculture,  in addition to the drinking water pipelines.

   The world is invited to visit Shafdan, in Rishon LeTzion, Israel,   learn about its technology, and adopt and adapt it for its use.  Enormous water savings could result.  The additional water it creates could reduce the cost of fresh food.
 

 

Advertisements