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Is Water The New Gold?

Is Water The New Gold?

A cluster of people is not conversant with drought. Luckily, they are in a water-rich zone. Water has sustained life on Earth for millennia, but its future abundance is not guaranteed.

With the acceleration of climate change, the question remains: “Will the glory days be short-lived?” Descriptions provided by climate change are a testament that no resource is immunized.

Thirst is a mirror of drought. If you’ve experienced the pangs of dehydration, you’ll likely understand drought. These conditions hinge on one commodity: water. Water, much like blood, reaches every corner of the earth; provides a home for aquatic habitats, helps in nutrient absorption in plants, and keeps the human race rejuvenated.

Countries under the belt of drought are faced with acute insecurity. Natural and human factors engineer their fate. Reports from the WHO indicate that annually an estimated 55 million people suffer from drought.  This ruin also pockets livestock and crops. In an era with abounding greenhouse gases, and drought threatening resources and lives, how are countries thriving?

Israel’s triumph over drought

Israel lies in a desert region, an area where water is always scarce. Like all other countries in this geographical position, their baseline is drought. Israel was once on the brink of a drought catastrophe. The extent of this crisis can be gauged by the media running ads to illustrate that “the country is drying out”.

There’s a watershed, and Israel has been declared free from drought. At the cusp of this, Jordan receives 100 million cubic meters of surplus water. Desalination and wastewater treatment are the magic algorithms that led this charge. A confounding one and a half hours is the ETA from the Mediterranean Sea to the desalination plants and a consumable form.

But at the expense of this great milestone is an environmental impact. Desalination and wastewater treatment have been pivotal for Israel for two decades. A desalination plant censors salt and minerals from seawater or brackish water to generate freshwater. It is engineered with fossil fuel, due to its high energy demands, a greenhouse source the environment frowns on. Authorities urge inhabitants to use water wisely, emphasizing the intricate link between climate and human needs.

Environmental considerations should not be overlooked in our trade-offs. At the forefront of this effort, Israel has the two most energy-efficient desalination plants in the world: Hadera and Sorek. To further minimize their environmental impact, these plants are located close to their energy sources. This setup ensures more efficient and reliable energy transmission, reducing energy loss.

Eco-friendly innovation; Warka water tower

While Israel's advancements highlight a technological triumph in large-scale water scarcity solutions, smaller-scale, eco-friendly innovations are equally crucial in combating drought in different contexts. One such innovation is the Warka Water Tower, pioneered by Arturo Vittori and his team. This system is used to harvest water from the atmosphere. Gravity, condensation, and evaporation are the underpinnings that generate life for this paradigm.

Knitted with bamboo, polyester mesh, polyester cable, and hemp rope, this system is environmentally friendly. Unlike desalination, the Warka Tower only requires an environment with high rates of fog or humidity.

While the Warka Tower has a relatively low daily yield (80 - 100 l), it represents an environmentally-friendly option suited for small communities facing drought where humidity levels are sufficient. Successful countries that have undergone these pilot tests include Ethiopia and Cameroon.

The question is not just what governments and organizations are doing, but what each of us, as individuals, can contribute. The climate is the reflection of us. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we’re in the middle of a world meltdown, and this change can knock us into a different life. We do not know who is next on the climate’s radar.

What are you doing to erase your prints on the environment? This mildly mental gymnastics should be your guide towards sustainability.


1. DW News. (2023, March 22). Israel refills lake with desalinated water [Video]. DW.

2. Zerrenner, K. (2017, January 30). Lowering desalination’s energy footprint: Lessons from Israel.Energy Exchange.



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