First-ever Jewish National Fund Israel-Colorado Water Summit Brings Together Over 300 People to Discuss Colorado’s Water Challenges
Governor Hickenlooper Calls Summit ‘Big Deal’
Jewish National Fund’s (JNF) Colorado-Israel Water Summit proved to be an inspiring and thought-provoking event. On March 29th, more than 300 Coloradans came together to learn about the water challenges facing the state and how techniques developed and perfected in Israel may help alleviate Colorado’s water needs. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper called the summit a “big deal” for Colorado as he shared his vision for mitigating Colorado’s water issues during his afternoon remarks.
In his keynote address, best-selling author Seth M. Siegel (“Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water-Starved World“), stated that the summit is an important step forward in addressing Colorado’s water challenges. “If we are going to solve our water problems, we will need all hands to help. United Water and Sanitation District and Netafim have proven ideas and methods which can be a model for addressing our water concerns.”
The summit was hosted by JNF and sponsored by Drs. Toby and Mort Mower, Netafim, and United Water and Sanitation District. Featured speakers included Governor Hickenlooper; former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter; Israeli Consul for Political Affairs Yaki Lopez; Drew Damiano, vice president of operations of United Water and Sanitation District; and other water experts. To see the full list of speakers please click here.
Israel once faced a similar water crisis to Colorado’s. Rapid population growth and a growing agricultural economy required more water than was available through natural resources. Through techniques like drip irrigation and the world’s largest desalination program, Israel turned its water crisis into a water surplus and now serves as a global model for successful water management.
JNF has effectively contributed to the development of water management and conservation systems in Israel for three decades. It has increased the country’s total water supply by 12% and helped Israel become a leader in water reuse. JNF’s network of 250 recycled water reservoirs provide almost half of the water used for agriculture in Israel, saving enough freshwater to meet the needs of 4.4 million people a year. To learn more about JNF’s National Water Task Force please click here.
The Water Summit program tied together beautifully an impressive mix of water professionals, public officials, and JNF supporters who came together for local Colorado water issues. Participants walked away equipped with the knowledge needed to converse about local and global water issues and the technology Israel has to alleviate them.