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Mekorot Water resources Day in the Knesset

75 years to Mekorot – Mekorot Water resources Day in the Knesset
 

On February 7th, as part of the events to mark Mekorot’s 75th anniversary, the Company held a Mekorot Water Resources Day in the Knesset, in the presence of public officials.  This day was dedicated to water, the life source, and to those people who execute the national mission of supplying water to every faucet in Israel - Mekorot employees - whose job it is to ensure that water is supplied to every citizen of the State of Israel - from the top of Mount Hermon to the edge of the Arava.

Symbolically, the event was held a day before Tu Bishvat(Hebrew Calendar), the date that the Knesset was originally inaugurated.  The event held at the country’s parliament emphasized the national water company’s commitment and responsibility to supply water of the highest quality, 24/7, any time and in any season.

That morning, prior to the event held at the Knesset, Mekorot’s Chairman, CEO, Secretary of the Worker’s Organization and Director of the Communications, Information and Spokesman’s Office  presented President Shimon Peres with a medal, created by the Israel Coins and Medals Corporation  commemorating  this occasion.

The Mekorot Water Resources Day at the Knesset opened with important discussions in six of the Knesset’s committees:  the finance committee, the Economic Affairs Committee, the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee,  the Education Committee, the Science and Technology Committee, the Internal Affairs and Environmental Protection Committee.  Mekorot’s work in the relevant fields was presented to the committees, reflecting a national perspective for the development of the water industry for future generations.  Proposals submitted by Mekorot were accepted by all the committees and and the issues will continue to be handled by the Knesset, the government and the regulator.

During the afternoon, an official event was held in the auditorium and attended by the Minister of Energy and Water at the time, Dr. Uzi Landau and MK Moshe Matalon.

Minister Landau told the guests:  “We will do whatever we can to convey the story of Israel’s water, which incorporates the resurrection of the Jewish People in its country and Mekorot’s pioneer vision.  Until this day, Mekorot is the first to help and to solve problems.  Mekorot is also an important factor in the options for a future peace, in a region in which water is more precious than oil.  We respect and are proud of Mekorot.”

MK Matalon said:  “I think that this is an opportune time to pay respect to Mekorot as Israel’s national asset…., all the options of leading the water industry to where it needs to go, toward its rightful place in Israel and in the region.”

Alex Wiznitzer, who served as Mekorot’s Chairman of the Board during that period said that he is “proud to represent Mekorot - the State of Israel’s diamond.  Mekorot is the Israeli government’s oldest, strongest, professional and leading operational arm.  Wherever Mekorot brings water, the State of Israel is there to develop that area.”

The Company’s CEO, Shimon Ben Hamo noted that “very few companies in the Israeli economy in the public or private sector have succeeded to maintain their standing for so many years, and to show a steady progress curve and change in the present day.  In its 75 years of existence, Mekorot has created an infrastructure that connects the entire country. This infrastructure’s main projects include the National Water Carrier - the national water system, wastewater treatment plants for irrigation purposes, desalination plants for sea and salinated water and a main filtration plant to improve the water quality.  In essence, this infrastructure facilitates our continued existence in Israel, situated in a region characterized by a striking shortage of water.  Mekorot works on every possible front to ensure optimal water solutions for Israel’s citizens at any time and under any conditions, both in the near and distant future.”

Chairman of the workers’ organization at that time, Meir Elezra said that “Mekorot has experienced 75 difficult years in its struggles with every subject, every project.  Every project that Mekorot attempted to execute for the State of Israel was fraught with some sort of difficulties.  But eventually, as the ones involved in the work, as those who develop the Israeli water industry… we can be proud of this professional technological company which controls the State of Israel’s water.”

During the event, the Company awarded the Water Sources Prize to its partners in the water industry, for their unique contribution to the fields of education, agriculture, technological innovation and water conservation.  These fields reflect Mekorot’s values:  Supplying water under any conditions, commitment to agriculture and settlement nationwide, developing knowledge, encouraging entrepreneurship and promoting innovative water technologies.

In the field of education, the prize was awarded to Professor Menahem Rebhun of the Technion, a leading researcher in the field of water and an exemplary figure who has cultivated generations of researchers and scientists.  Cooperation between Professor Rebhun and Mekorot has spanned five decades and is reflected in prominent milestones that have contributed to Israel’s water industry.  These include the establishment of the National Water Carrier in the 1960s and Mekorot’s central water facility, the fourth largest in the world, in the 2000s.

The education prize was also awarded to Professor Arnon Bentor of the Technion, an  internationally acclaimed expert in construction and innovation used for training engineers and scientists in all fields of infrastructure, including designated programs for water-related fields.

The Water Sources for Israel Prize for contribution to the water industry in the field of agriculture was awarded to Ami Shaham, former head of the Central Arava Regional Council, chairman of the council’s agricultural committee and currently the Chairman of the Arava Drainage Authority.  The prize was awarded to Ami Shaham for his leading partnership with Mekorot in their activity in the Arava for the past 40 years.  His contribution was and is expressed in advancing a long list of water and environment related fields and in the development of state-of-the-art, well-organized and profitable agriculture in the region, based on research and innovative water technologies.  A window of opportunity was consequently opened for expanding the Zionist settlement of the Arava.

The prize for a unique contribution to the water industry in the field of technological innovation and water conservation was awarded to three Israeli companies that developed unique ‘blue and white’ technologies:

 

Amiad - a company that provides optimal solutions for water filtration, solutions that lead to water conservation and operational efficiency.

 

Arad Technologies - a leading company in the development of technological systems for the automatic collection and control of water and electricity consumption data.  The company established an AMR system for Mekorot for the remote reading of water meters, a unique technological development that was subsequently implemented in many water markets around the world.

 

A.R.I. Kfar Haruv - specializes in the development of state-of-the-art flow control accessories for water pipes.  Its products are used in the national system and help enhance its uncompromising reliability and durability of the water supply targets.  Cooperation between Mekorot and A.R.I. Kfar Haruv has led to unique ‘blue and white’ solutions.

After the prizes were awarded, Professor Eyal Zisser gave a lecture on the subject of “Water as an Existential Resource and a Strategic and Political Asset”.  Professor Zisser is a regular lecturer at the Tel Aviv University Department of Middle Eastern and African History, the head of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies and dean of the humanities department at TAU.

The event’s entertainment featured the Mekorot Musical Troupe, together with with musician Shlomo Gronich, who prepared special original arrangements to well known popular songs, especially for this special day.

The third and last portion of the Mekorot Water Sources Day was held in the Knesset plenum, and featured a discussion regarding the motions for the agenda regarding the field of water.  The discussion was held in the presence of the Speaker of the Knesset, Reuven (Rubie) Rivlin, who said:  “There are national projects that do not receive sufficient attention in our daily lives.  They enable our existence here; however, only a few people are aware of the amazing human and engineering efforts that stand behind them.  The water that flows into our homes is something that is taken for granted; but this should not be the case.  Fortunately for us, Mekorot is still owned by the government and is responsible for the optimal supply of water to the residents of Israel, residents of the Palestinian Authority and even to the Jordanians.  Mekorot’s planning divisions are forward thinking and plan our future and the future of the water industry in the State of Israel, for the coming years and for future generations.”

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

     

 

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