Israel's Water Problems
(IsraelNN.com) Binyamin Ben Eliezer, a not terribly bright politician, has offered various solutions for what is likely to be a water crisis for a long time to come. He wants to build more water desalination plants, apparently to offset his party's famous plans to abandon the Golan Heights, one of Israel's principal water sources.
But Ben Eliezer may not have taken into account the raw sewage sabotage that the Palestinians are implementing by letting untreated sewage run into the sea from Gaza. The prevailing currents push the sewage north, contaminating Israel's coastal areas where more than 70% of Israel's population and Israel's main industrial base in centered.
Once the contamination levels of human feces and chemicals reach a certain level of density (PPM = Parts Per Million), any desalination plant will be closed down. Their filter membranes would clog and the disease-laden water would simply flow through. One doesn't expect Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert or his leftist party coalition (Kadima, Labor and Meretz) to do anything to stop the sewage flow.
Then there is the matter of gifting Jordan with millions of cubic meters of water as Israel's most famous singular gesture of good will. Israeli leadership is full of such "gestures" - among other foul-smelling substances.
Israel's so-called "leadership" is gesturing away the Jewish nation into a permanent, ever worsening state of drought. Have you ever spoken to so-called Israeli "leaders?" Outside of dirty politics, at which they are superb, in practical matters they are dumb as a collective stump.
Water futures? "Not to worry." Pollution? "Not to worry." Terrorist growth? "Not to worry." Loss of the water protected from Israel's Golan Heights? "Not to worry." Loss of the aquifers under the Israeli mountains of Judea and Samaria? "Not to worry." Sewage contamination? "Not to worry."
Why worry when the members of our esteemed parliament have plenty of food and filtered water in the Knesset dining room? Reality simply doesn't enter those rooms the lazy, craven leftist Knesset members think are hallowed.
What to do?
First: Cut off water and fuel supplies to Gaza until they build sewage treatment plants sufficiently large enough to treat sewage to the highest level technology allows.
Get rid of incompetent leaders and make them take educational tests to determine if they are fit to hold any post in government (like the psychometric tests Israeli students must take to attend university).
Start building more desalination plants - which should have started 20 years ago.
Cut the water being delivered free to Jordan.
Dig a channel from the Haifa area down to the Jordan Valley. This channel is to parallel the Jordan River and NOT mix salt water with fresh water. (Note! I offered such a water plan to Israel more than 25 years ago - which contemplated hydroelectric power, desalination plants, modification of the moisture content in the Jordan Valley for improved crops' production and sea water lakes for recreation and fishing.
But, there were people then in power - like Ben Eliezer - who simply had zero vision and an inability to process information. As they say, those chickens have come home to roost.
Drought is endemic in the Middle East. Biblical records speak of 7 year droughts - as in Egypt - but, in fact, droughts of 50 to 100 years have been recorded in core borings of land. However, when you are a politician, you talk about solutions (to raise your public image) but do nothing to implement them or something too little to be effective.
Experts in hydrology, water conservation and recycling of waste water have been alerting successive governments about serious water shortages, pollution and contamination for years but they have been ignored.
How can you expect politicians who have never worked a day in their lives to deal with down-to-earth critical, issues like water, national security, resettling the 10,000 Jewish men, women and children they uprooted, etc. when they could not even run a small vegetable stand in Machane Yehuda (the local outdoor market)? This is not a trivial matter, given that droughts can last 50 or more years across the Africa/Asian Middle East, much of which is in an advanced stage of desertification. This is before the forecast effects of climate change due to measurable global warming.
Israel desperately needs a highly intelligent government of problem solvers. She cannot survive on government "leaders" whose first morning thought is how to stay in power.
Emanuel A. Winston is a middle east commentator & analyst