Opportunities for Industrial Cooperation and Investment in Israel
Making Energy and Water Resources Go a Long Way

In a world of limited water and energy, Israel is a global leader in developing ways to get the most out of these dwindling resources. Through desalination, recycling, irrigation and general efficiency Israel lets limited water resources go a long way. Israeli companies also pioneer renewable energy methods, especially solar energy but also wind energy, geothermal resources and bioconversion.
Israel is in one of the world’s most arid regions. But consistently growing water consumption has been satisfied by more efficient water management, drip irrigation, desalination and reclaiming wastewater. Israel not only meets the water needs of a population of more than 8 million, it is self-sufficient in food and exports $1.5 billion of agricultural produce annually, mainly premium quality fruit, vegetables and flowers to Europe. This though the northern half of the country has an annual average rainfall of 500 mm., and the south receives only 200 mm annually, and there is no rain at all between May and October.
State-owned Mekorot Water company has pioneered more efficient water management systems to overcome regional and seasonal imbalances. These methods include rain harvesting by which clouds are sprayed with iodine to increase precipitation, the national conduit to bring surplus rain to the arid south and flood reservoirs to prevent rainwater from escaping into the sea.
In its water planning endeavors Tahal Group has ably assisted Mekorot. Tahal is Israel’s largest engineering firm and a specialist in consultancy, planning, management, construction and operation of water and wastewater projects.
The best-known Israeli innovation in the water supply sector is drip irrigation. Developed by Israeli kibbutz farmers this revolutionary idea is based on the simple principle of maximizing the effectiveness of limited resources by dripping water onto designated spots through plastic piping. Kibbutz Hatzerim established Netafim, Israel’s leading micro-irrigation company, which Is owned by the US Permira Fund. According to BusinessWeek, Israeli firms control about half of the global market in drip irrigation, which is worth several billion dollars annually.
Other leading companies in this sector include Rivulis Plastro Gvat based on Kibbutz Gevat and NaanDan Jain, also a kibbutz company but with Indian ownership, which produce and market a range of drip and sprinkler systems and related pipes and fittings. Like Netafim these products range from the simplest solutions for gardens and small family farms through to sophisticated computerized systems for vast farm or even entire regions.
Reclaiming sewage water also meets Israel’s fast increasing water consumption. Each year at the Shafdan sewage treatment plant alone near Tel Aviv some 130 million cubic meters of water is reclaimed from sewage, and many more major Israeli cities are now already operating or building similar installations. Mekorot is responsible for treating 35% of the wastewater in Israel and 55% of effluent – about 160 million cubic meters out of 500 million cubic meters.
Rimon Consultancy and Management Services, part of the Gaon Agro-Industries Group, is a leading company for planning and managing wastewater reclamation projects, while Ritmo Engineering Consulting also has extensive experience in this sector. Tambour Ecology also specializes in water reclamation and purification projects. In addition to planning and managing entire projects, the company offers compact purification facilities including mobile, water tank and bio-circle purification systems. Another company in this sector, A.L.D. Environmental Protection, a partnership between Elco Holdings and Lesico Construction, is also a leader in wastewater treatment solutions and has the capabilities to build and operate cost-effective, efficient and safe plants.
In recent years desalination has emerged as Israel’s major hope of keeping up with demand for water and the country has become a world leader in transforming salt water into drinking water. Israel has completed five large desalination plants at Ashkelon, Hadera, Palmachim, Soreq and Ashdod on the Mediterranean Coast with annual production potential up to 500 million cu-m annually. Mekorot has built and operated some 31 small desalination plants in the south to generate 25 million cu-m per year, mainly from brackish water.
Israel’s first major desalination plant in Ashkelon employs the Reverse Osmosis process developed by Israel Desalination Enterprises (IDE) Technologies. IDE has installed more than 350 desalination units worldwide including Low Temperature Thermal Distillation as well as Reverse Osmosis. These plants are especially advantageous when built besides a power plant so that excess waste heat can be utilized. Other Israeli players in this sector include Global Environmental Solutions (GES) and Housing and Construction.
Israeli companies also provide a diverse range of equipment, services and solutions to enhance these systems including filters and valves, piping and fittings, and softeners, monitoring, measurement, anti-leakage and security systems. Amiad Filtration Systems has developed a range of compact automatic, self-cleaning filters incorporating innovative technology characterized by low operating cost and short capital payback. Last year, Amiad completed the acquisition of Israel-based Arkal Filtration Systems with the expectation that the addition of Arkal’s product range and sales and marketing infrastructure will considerably strengthen Amiad’s global market share in the irrigation, industrial and municipal water filtration industries.
Bermad Technologies produces leading edge water valves and A.R.I. Flow Control Accessories has developed a wide range of products and special software designed specifically for various applications in water supply (municipal and domestic), sewage, industry, agriculture and landscaping.
The Arison Group’s Miya is a global provider of comprehensive urban water efficiency solutions, including Non Revenue Water (NRW) reduction. The company’s solutions include an audit of a city’s water system, full project planning, execution and maintenance.
In developing these technologies dozens of Israeli companies have taken care to nurture methods, which preserve the environment, while providing the purest water quality. In pioneering sewage recycling, the country’s firms have also developed innovative methods of sewage treatment.

Produced By: Daniel Uzan Media & Communications