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U.S.-Israel Shared-Value Initiatives: Water Resource Development Cooperation

Israel pioneered drip irrigation, a process by which the minimum amount of water is delivered directly to a plant’s roots. This technique has the added environmental advantage of enabling the irrigation of crops with treated wastewater, and allows farmers to minimize the quantity of fertilizer and pesticides.

The Bureau of Reclamation of the Department of the Interior signed an MOU in 1990 with the Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research of Israel (IOLR) “to collaborate in developing a program of scientific and technical cooperation for the exchange of ideas, information, skills and techniques on problems of mutual interest in the field of water resources development.”

The Bureau signed a new five-year agreement with the Israeli Water Authority in 1995 that calls for an exchange of science and technology in the area of desalinization. The U.S. has sent experts to Israel to deliver papers on this topic and discussions have been held regarding joint projects in desalination technology. Israel has developed several innovative desalination methods and Israeli-manufactured seawater desalination plants represent 20 percent of the world market outside the Middle East.

In April 2018 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a cooperative research and development agreement with the Israeli company Water-Gen, who had developed a portable device that pulls moisture from the air and creates potable drinking water.  This technology can dramatically improve access to clean drinking water in areas suffering from natural disasters or infrastructure issues.  The technology developed by Water-Gen can create a gallon of clean drinking water while using only 8 cents of energy.  

Sources: Partners for Change;
Jeff Kart.  
EPA, Israeli Company Partner On 'Water From Air' Tech, Forbes, (April 13, 2018).