Prime Minister Netanyahu Explains How Israel Solved its Water Problem
Israel’s water problem has been solved, thanks to Israeli ingenuity, technology and even just recycling, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Forbes CEO Steve Forbes in an interview this week.
“Now, you know, when Israel was founded 67 years ago, we had twice the rainwater that we have today. Our population has grown more than tenfold; our GDP per capita has grown almost 40 times. We should have a water problem, but we don’t,” said Netanyahu.
The Israeli prime minister said the country’s recycling of more than 80 percent of its waste-water was a huge factor, but so were desalination plants, the use of drip irrigation and cutting-edge controls on waste and spillage.
In the interview with Forbes, Netanyahu also discussed Israel’s massive natural gas deposits. He described the current challenge as working out how much money the private and public sectors were going to reap from Israeli gas fields, whose drills are partly operated by foreign companies like Texas-based Noble Energy. He said lawmakers still have a “lot of populism to fight.”
The prime minister also described the success of Israel’s southern high-tech hub, Beersheba, where the military and Israeli academia interact and innovate.
“We decided here, in the middle of the Negev Desert, to bring in our special information units of the Israeli Army and put them right next to Ben-Gurion University. And right next to that—all within 100 yards–to build a cyber industrial park to bring in the leading companies of the world. And they’re here. We have this interaction between our finest military and cyber-security minds and the finest at the university and the nearby businesses,” he said.