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Preservation and Rehabilitation of Water Sources

Protection of water sources
Mekorot works hard to prevent environmental nuisances in its facilities, by applying cleantech water technologies that are environmentally friendly. Alongside this, it rehabilitates existing water sources.


 

As part of the action to prevent environmental nuisances, Mekorot takes care of the environment through:

 

  • Environmental care and landscape rehabilitation at the company’s plants
  • Dealing with odor nuisances and preventing emissions of pollutants into the air
  • Dealing with noise nuisances and the use of safe chemicals close to populations

Mekorot monitors centers that present potential contamination of sources of drinking water. Among the potential contamination centers are sewage systems, wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), garbage dumps, landfills, quarries, gas stations, livestock areas, industrial areas with environmental contamination potential, etc.


 

Environmental Surveys

The groundwater is exposed to a wide variety of pollutants that can seep into the groundwater and contaminate reserves of drinking water. This problem is of national importance and Mekorot has set itself the challenge of preventing and minimizing the pollution of sources of drinking water. In order to meet this important challenge, Mekorot has initiated a national process of conducting environmental surveys (based on systematic engineering methodology) of all drinking water wells of the company in order to find potential sources of pollution that could cause harm to and pollute the groundwater. The aim is to prevent further contamination of groundwater and to preserve the water resources for future generations. It should be noted that Mekorot does not have the statutory authority to address and regulate these hazards; however, when necessary, it approaches the relevant authorities to address and promote regulation of the hazards. These activities relate to the water resources and not to the water that is supplied to consumers, which is carefully monitored and whose quality is good and of the appropriate standard.


 

Rehabilitation of Aquifers, Controlled Pumping

Mekorot is proactive in inserting water into aquifers that have been adversely affected by the seven consecutive years of drought that Israel has experienced. The proactive introducing of water is intended to rehabilitate these aquifers and improve the quality of water in them. At the same time, Mekorot operates drilling that is intended to rehabilitate and treat water that has been contaminated or become salinated. A notable example of this is the Eastern Drainage Program – the flagship project to halt the process of salinization and rehabilitation of the coastal aquifer.

 

Landscape Rehabilitation and Preservation of Natural Assets

Mekorot attaches great importance to protecting the environment, the natural assets and the landscape. This is reflected in the infrastructure works carried out by the company on an ongoing basis as well as at the time of executing complex engineering projects. Mekorot has drafted a document of broad directives, which constitutes the basis for detailed planning for facilities engineers and landscape architects. After the execution of the planning process, Mekorot works to integrate the facilities in the natural environment through: planting trees and landscaping, building terraces to hide part of the development, painting the facilities to blend into the terrain, burying pools and electrical cabinets in the ground, in order to preserve the natural contour of the landscape.

 

Returning Water to the Environment

As part of its commitment to rehabilitating the landscape and preserving the natural assets, Mekorot works together with green organizations and authorities, to return water to nature and to rehabilitate rivers and aquatic habitats. The existence of natural water reservoirs and wetlands, and preserving and rehabilitating them over the long-term, is one of the most significant and important challenges in the sustainable management of the water industry. From the perception that recognizes the return of water to the environment as one of the elements of acting in a more sustainable manner, Mekorot returns ever increasing amounts of water to nature. These amounts are expected to increase, based on allocations/allowances of the Water Authority and the amount of desalinated water that will be available to the water industry. Mekorot is also addressing the matter in the context of finalizing an agreement with the Water Authority and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.
At the same time, Mekorot expects that, within a few years, with increased amounts of desalinated water, it will be possible to reduce the pumping of water from natural sources. Already at this stage, Mekorot is examining the reduction or cessation of pumping water from several springs. It should be noted that the Group also performs deep water drilling, the purpose of which, among other things, is to return water to the environment and to divert it to rivers whose flow has ceased, as part of their rehabilitation. These activities are taking place in the Golan Heights and the Galil.