Hydrology

Hydrology

“Mekorot” has global hydrological expertise. Using this expertise “Mekorot” succeeds in finding other water sources underground increasing the available water in Israel. As an example, the “drought drillings” project throughout the country, performed by “Mekorot” in the wake of a seven-year drought in Israel. The boreholes in this project are carried out to depths of up to 1.5 km and the pumping of groundwater is done at a depth of hundreds of meters below the surface. In this manner “Mekorot” reaches every possible drop of water for the benefit of the people in Israel and is one of the few companies worldwide that produces water from boreholes at such depths. The drought drillings added to date tens of millions of cubic meters of water per annum to the water sector.
This figure is further reinforced in light of the fact that Israel is always undergoing significant changes in the rate of natural enrichment of aquifers, which are one of Israel’s natural water sources. These changes arise from climate changes and from an irregular cycle of nature. This means: a multi-annual reduction in rainfall levels and extensive volatility between dry years and rainy years. The consequences are accordingly: to provide the increased water consumption, water is pumped at the expense of reducing the amount of water in the underground reservoirs, which are already unstable.
“Mekorot” is therefore also prepared for this hydrological challenge. In its ongoing activity, the Group combines practical work in the field and research, while collaborating with academia and other entities. This is to provide an optimal response for the Israeli water market needs, at all times and under any condition.


The hydrological activity at “Mekorot” focuses on a number of fields:


• Ongoing geological and hydrological support to all the Company’s units – this activity includes providing answers to a wide range of issues that have an impact on the geological and hydrological field, such as: management of the aquifer or a single borehole due to decline in levels; issues related to water quality such as changes in a chemical parameter; declines in the throughput of drillings; protective radii; problems that may arise due to execution of civil works near boreholes (for example, the Highway 6 tunnel near the Yokneam drillings); geological and hydrological monitoring of the environmental surveys generated in the Company’s various spaces and more.

• Drilling new boreholes and rehabilitating existing boreholes – the activity focuses on carrying out geological and hydrological surveys for the preparation of drilling projections. The activities include: managing the Drillings Committee in the Company and monitoring the drilling license issuance processes at the Water Authority, geological and hydrological support during drilling and pumping attempts. The Hydrological Department coordinates the rehabilitation of the boreholes, in close collaboration with the Company’s Drilling Department.

• Geological and hydrological surveys including the placement and calibration of models for flow and transport – executing geological and hydrological surveys in various areas as part of the overall design work. In order to address regional hydrological issues and needs of aquifers management, for planning the regulation of sites and drillings to introduce excess desalinated water and more.

• Consulting work – professional assistance to the international activity of the subsidiary, “Mekorot Development and Enterprise”. The assistance is expressed in preparing the hydrological surveys for initiatives that have a hydrological component. At the same time “Mekorot” provides hydrological consulting work for business customers.

• International studies – executing international hydrological studies in cooperation with many universities in Europe. For example: a German - Israeli - Jordanian – Palestinian study called SMART. The objective of this study is to promote innovative technological methods for management and to integrate available sustainable water sources in groundwater basins that drain to the lower Jordan River and north of the Dead Sea. In addition, “Mekorot” is involved in recent years in large engineering projects, requiring the design of the system to lowering water levels ("water degradation"). One of these projects is the construction of an underground hospital for times of emergency at the Rambam Hospital. It is the largest engineering project undertaken in the country so far in the field of lowering the groundwater, when “Mekorot” is a partner therein and assists in its implementation.