At the peak of the drought, Shabi Zvieli, an Israeli gardener, feared for his livelihood.
A hefty tax was placed on excessive household water consumption, penalizing families with lawns, swimming pools or leaky pipes. So many of Mr. Zvieli’s clients went over to synthetic grass and swapped their seasonal blooms for hardy, indigenous plants more suited to a semiarid climate. “I worried about where gardening was going,” said Mr. Zvieli, 56, who has tended people’s yards for about 25 years.
Across the country, Israelis were told to cut their shower time by two minutes. Washing cars with hoses was outlawed and those few wealthy enough to absorb the cost of maintaining a lawn were permitted to water it only at night.
“We were in a situation where we were very, very close to someone opening a tap somewhere in the country and no water would come out,” said Uri Schor, the spokesman and public education director of the government’s Water Authority.
But that was about six years ago. Today, there is plenty of water in Israel. A lighter version of an old “Israel is drying up” campaign has been dusted off to advertise baby diapers. “The fear has gone,” said Mr. Zvieli, whose customers have gone back to planting flowers.
As California and other western areas of the United States grapple with an extreme drought, a revolution has taken place here. A major national effort to desalinate Mediterranean seawater and to recycle wastewater has provided the country with enough water for all its needs, even during severe droughts. More than 50 percent of the water for Israeli households, agriculture and industry is now artificially produced.
During the drought years, farmers at Ramat Rachel, a kibbutz on the southern outskirts of Jerusalem, took water-economizing measures like uprooting old apple orchards a few years before their time. With the new plenty, water allocations for Israeli farmers that had been slashed have been raised again, though the price has also gone up.
“Now there is no problem of water,” said Shaul Ben-Dov, an agronomist at Ramat Rachel. “The price is higher, but we can live a normal life in a country that is half desert.”
The Latest on: Drought management
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The Latest on: Drought management
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... to drought risk management must be a coherent effort across the whole of society, and must include long term, proactive measures that incorporate climate change projections to mitigate ...
- Ready for the Dry Years: Building resilience to drought in South-East Asia - Second Editionon November 27, 2020 at 12:49 am
English Analysis on World and 11 other countries about Agriculture, Disaster Management, Drought, Epidemic and more; published on 27 Nov 2020 by ASEAN and ESCAP ...
- ESCAP urges ASEAN countries to take proactive policy to fight against drought during COVID-19on November 26, 2020 at 11:01 pm
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- Building resilience to drought in Southeast Asiaon November 26, 2020 at 7:20 pm
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- $5 million Future Drought Fund investment to build drought resilience in agricultural landscapeson November 26, 2020 at 5:19 pm
Project proposals are being awarded a share of $5 million under the Future Drought Fund's NRM Drought Resilience Program - Landscapes program.
- Ready for the Dry Years: Building Resilience to Drought in Southeast Asiaon November 26, 2020 at 9:02 am
Ed between ESCAP Executive Secretary and the ASEAN Secretary-General South-East Asia has long endured severe droughts, which occur on average every five years. The prolonged 2015 and 2018 droughts ...
- Building resilience to droughton November 26, 2020 at 8:00 am
Asean and ESCAP are working together to prevent the destructive impacts of droughts by promoting a paradigm shift towards more adaptive drought risk management and governance. This cooperation is ...
- Auckland drought: Household hose ban eased for summeron November 25, 2020 at 5:15 pm
Auckland councillors have approved allowing hoses to be used from December 14, only if fitted with hand-held trigger nozzles, and with a close eye being kept on summer weather. The council company ...
- Odisha to dig 1,500 more farm ponds in 10 drought-hit districtson November 22, 2020 at 7:01 pm
Under the Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH), farmers are provided 50 per cent assistance for digging farm ponds.
- Climate change and 'atmospheric thirst' to increase fire danger and drought in NV and CAon November 20, 2020 at 1:09 am
Climate change and a "thirsty atmosphere" will bring more extreme wildfire danger and multi-year droughts to Nevada and California by the end of this century, according to new research from the Desert ...
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