Today I was fortunate to see my beloved but parched garden In Kiryat-Arba Hevron glisten with moisture: the dried-out grass soaked up the precious liquid; the cracked earth that had looked like sub-Saharan Africa only a couple of weeks ago thickened into mud, and the cactus plants became plump again... so , God has blessed us with water from heaven this week: not much, but it's a beginning. According to weather forecasts, we are expecting more rain over the week-end; a drop in the bucket, unfortunately.
Here are some more bad news, read the report below:
Drought Affects Bottled Mineral Water
(IsraelNN.com) Israel's two largest mineral water companies reported that the current drought has affected water quality and that they have temporarily halted production after finding a low amount of contamination.
The Mei Eden and Netivot companies, located near Ein Gedi and in the Golan Heights, emphasized that there is absolutely no health danger from bottles already on the shelf.
However, the test results that the water quality has dropped might indicate that Israelis face a summer of water rationing. The Kinneret, Israel's largest non-underground water reservoir, is at the lowest level since 2001 while demand has risen.
The lake is now only 75 centimeters (30 inches) above the black line, where water authorities may have to halt pumping of water because of ground contamination. The level of the Kinneret has risen only 18 centimeters (7.2 inches) since its low point this winter, one of the driest on record.
February has featured short rainy periods, interrupted by periods of high temperatures rarely seen in the winter. Rain fell in the north and central regions on Monday, and more is expected on Tuesday before warm and dry weather returns on Wednesday and Thursday.
Meteorologists are anxiously following a new winter storm that appears headed for Israel on Friday, packing a powerful punch that may linger at least until Sunday.
The expected rain, and possibly snow in the northern Galilee, will be only a drop in the bucket, and only an unusually wet late February and a wintry March and April, when signs of spring and summer usually appear, will be able to bring the water reserves above the danger point.
The Kinneret usually drops approximately 1.5 meters (60 inches) during the summer, and a drop below the black line could cause irreversible damage to the lake, as well as adversely affect the underground water aquifer system.
The Kinneret currently is a whopping 5.45 meters (18 feet) below the level where dams have to be opened to prevent flooding in the lakeside city of Tiberias. The last time the dams had to be opened was in 1993.
The Kinneret College, located on the southern shore of the Kinneret, is hosting a conference Tuesday on Israel's water situation. One of the scheduled speakers is Australian Ambassador to Israel James Larsen who will discuss policies adopted in Australia to deal with the severe drought.
Now we have to remember that ever since the Torah was written, Israel has been under direct control of G-d as regards rain. Today, I don't want to speak about the why's of our lack of rain this year: I could come up with a myriad reasons why Hashem has decided to deprive us of this vital blessing, but being neither prophet nor rabbi, I'll keep my thoughts to myself for right now: I'd rather discuss practical matters, and policy.
1.If you recall the old days of the Jewish Yishuv in Israel, Jews who lived in the Holy Land, before Mekorot came into existence, always used to have CISTERNS attached to their homes. Many old structures in Jerusalem still have these old cisterns attached, right? Even thousands of years ago, Jews used to collect the gift of G-d, rainwater, and store it for the dry season. But we , modern -day Jews, have become used to drawing water from a faucet, and let it run with abandon.
So I am suggesting that we seriously consider building 21st century cisterns again. They could be make of plastic, mind you, for the short term!.
Today, I took out whatever large vats I have at home, bit 23 gallon buckets that I use for various purposes, emptied them out of their contents, and placed them right under where the water drips down from the roof. Within a couple of hours, I had enough rainwater to feed my garden for the next week or two! I am now thinking of maybe buying a baby pool , or some other cheap container to collect whatever more rain is supposed to fall. Why should I pay Mekorot for a basic necessity, when G-d himself is giving me this gift for free? It took a drought to shake me out of my inertia , and realize that I can do something about the lack of water!
So if I can, so can you!
2. I went and stocked up on even more bottled water earlier this morning, as soon as I read the report about the coming shortage of bottled water. The EIN GEDI company still sells six two liter bottles for NIS 11.99. I have now about 120 liters of delicious drinking water at home. May I suggest that you do the same, if you didn't yet, and have your supply ready,before the price goes through the roof?
3. Yesterday, I sent out this piece of info coming from a very low-tech company that has a solution for water shortage.
I personally would be delighted to dig a well on my property and use this method, if I could. Or at least find some spot not far from here to use it. or suggest to our Yishuv to do this, but they are such state servants, it would never cross their minds. They'd rather pay Mekorot a fortune for every drop of water! Stupid.
A couple of people wrote back, among others,
E.T., who wrote:
i sent this to my sister & others who live on Kibbutz .... ( some leftist Kibbutz) in the Negev..........very, very interesting !
(PS, this wasn't exactly my intended audience, I'd rather help our downtrodden settler and religious public, but if it helps, as long as they leave US some water too! ...).
and Zerach, who said:
the bigger problem with water in general in israel is the deal the gov't made with Jordan... that apparently even though the levels are so low, they can't back out of the deal.
The Jordanians must have had a good JEWISH lawyer draft that part of the deal.
to which DS retorted yesterday:
I guess if we reneged, it would be another casus belli ( like we don't have enough already).[" casus belli" means a reason to go to war in latin].
And to which I say today:
HERE IS OUR CHANCE! Jordan is the one who is starting a war with Israel; let's retaliate by taking back our water pledge to them! Let's repatriate the Jordan river waters to Israel! Let's water OUR orchards, OUR gardens, OUR swimming pools. WHY FEED AN ENEMY???
Jordan Turns Against Israel in Hague
(IsraelNN.com) The Parliament of Jordan, with which Israel signed a peace treaty in 1994, has filed war-crime charges in the Hague against Olmert, Barak, and other top Israelis.
The head of the Jordanian legislature's law committee, Mubarak Abu Yamin, announced that the charges against Israel's leadership were filed because of Israel's Operation Cast Lead military offensive in Gaza.
Named in the charge sheet were Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, and Public Security Minister Avi Dichter.
Abu Yamin said he plans to meet on Thursday with the Hague prosecutor in preparation for the filing of the charges. Jordan's National Center for Civil Rights, headed by former Jordanian Prime Minister Adnan Badran, is also behind the initiative.
4. It is clear that the world keeps accusing Israel of STEALING THE POOR PALESTINIAN'S WATER, WHEN IN FACT THE REVERSE IS TRUE, AS USUAL . Please read the following articles. Two come from non-Jewish sources, another from the Jerusalem Post, ( I had posted this article a while back).
It is clear that Israel is OVERSUPPLYING the Arabs with UNDESERVED water, in addition to which they STEAL a large amount of water from the Jews. But not only that, see the project that USAID has had in Bani Naim, very close to Hevron, for years. THEY ARE APPROPRIATING ENOUGH WATER, COMING FROM OUR AQUIFERS, TO FEED 600,000 ARABS!.
JUST AS A REMINDER, HEBRON HAS 180,000 ARABS. SO WHERE IS ALL THIS WATER GOING TO, I AM ASKING YOU?
BELIEVE ME, WHEN I DRIVE PAST BETH OMAR, A HOTBED OF TERROR, WHERE NOT A DAY GOES BY WITHOUT SOME FIREBOMB BEING THROWN AT OUR BUSES, OR STONES BEING THROWN AT OUR CARS, AND WHERE THE NAZI FLAG WAS FLYING UNTIL SOMEBODY TOOK IT DOWN, THEY HAVE A PATCH OF GRASS THE SIZE OF A FOOTBALL FIELD OR LARGER, THAT LOOKS GREENER THAN IRELAND! IN OUR WILDEST DREAMS, WE ISRAELIS WOULDN'T USE THE KIND OF WATER THIS GRASS ABSORBS,NOT IN A MILLION YEARS!
AND THESE ARE THE ARABS WHO COMPLAIN OF WATER SHORTAGE.
NOW MIND YOU, THE USA HAVE BEEN SABOTAGING OUR WATER NEEDS FOR YEARS. AND IT IS NOT ONLY JEWS IN YESHA WHO SUFFER. ALL OF ISRAEL IS A VICTIM.
I SAY: TIME FOR A WATER REVOLUTION. LET'S REBEL AGAINST THE WATER TYRANNY IMPOSED UPON US BY OUR ENEMIES, WITH THE STUPID COOPERATION OF OUR SUCCESSIVE GOVERNMENTS.
DOWN WITH WATER TO JORDAN.
LET'S RECLAIM OUR AQUIFERS.
IF GOD WANTS TO PUNISH US BY WITHHOLDING RAIN, THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN DO.
BUT WE CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE HUMAN ELEMENT, ABOUT THE POLICY OF DRYING OUT ISRAEL WHILE WATERING DOWN OUR ENEMIES!
5. This is the water the government wants to feed us. I don't WANT their artificial water! I want the GOOD WATER FROM G-D!!!
Water Authority: Temporary desalination plants to function for 3-5 years
Elana Kirsh , THE JERUSALEM POST
In an attempt to address the water shortage in Israel, temporary desalination facilities will be installed in the coming months, Water Authority head Prof. Uri Shani announced Tuesday.
During a conference on water currently being held at the Kinneret College in the Jordan Valley, the professor said "the temporary desalination plants will be installed in the next few months."
In a statement released Tuesday, Shani added, "Following the grave crisis and massive shortage of water for both private and agricultural use, we decided to install temporary desalination facilities immediately." He said the devices would both reduce demand and increase supply of water, but only in the short term.
The desalination facilities, he said, will function "for a period of three to five years."