OECD sends envoy to tap Israeli expertise in producing water in arid conditions.
Senior Mekorot officials met with Secretary General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Angel Gurría in Tel Aviv recently to find ways Israel’s national water company can help in halting the global water shortage. Gurria said he came to Israel to acquire “knowledge, experience and professionalism” to solve the crisis. “The global water crisis is gaining momentum and the demand for water is increasing at a much higher rate than the increase in population,” Gurria said in a statement. “The organization is interested in disseminating Israeli know-how and technologies to third world countries as part of an effort to deal with the global water crisis.” Mekorot officials said the rise in population together with climate changes and a 55 percent hike in demand for freshwater could cost the world $800 billion in damages by the year 2050. “The underdeveloped world doesn’t understand that water is the number one problem in the world. Not oil. Not gas. Not other resources. Water,” Mekorot Chairman Alex Wiznitzer told Reuters. “I am sure we can contribute there and even flourish.” Mekorot showed OECD officials the different technologies it had developed to deal with water crises and technologies it already promotes around the world. Israel is renowned for its wastewater reuse, water security and desalination, drip irrigation, and the ability to produce water in the Arava Desert.