Secretary General of the OECD
Angel Gurría announced Wednesday that the organization intends to distribute Israeli technology
and know how to third world countries as part of the efforts to deal with the global water crisis.
Gurria made his announcement at a meeting held at the Mekorot
National Water Company in Tel Aviv in the presence of Water and Energy Minister Uzi Landau
and senior Mekorot officials.
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"The global water crisis is gaining momentum and the demand for water is increasing at a much higher rate than the increase in population, " Gurria said, adding: "The OECD is seeking knowledge, experience and professionalism to solve the global water crisis.
During the meeting Mekorot presented calculations according to which the global economic damage expected in 2050 as a result of the water crisis may reach $800 billion.
The national water company explained that their calculations are based on OECD data that states that 40% of the world's population will suffer from the water shortage in 2050, mainly in Africa, South America and west Asia.
Mekorot presented technologies it had developed to deal with water crises, technologies it promotes throughout the world. Among the innovations presented was the ability to produce water in arid areas like the Arava in the south – which is disconnected from the national water system – through drilling to depths of over 1.5 kilometers.
Moreover, the company presented developments meant to ease the water crisis in third world countries. Thus, a planned project to develop water infrastructure in one of the most arid regions in the world in Uganda, will be carried out based on the Arava model.
Some two million people live in the most arid region in Uganda.
The OECD chief was also presented with information about the desalination facilities in Cyprus
which are set to provide 40% of the island's water, and an installation established to filter river water in Buenos Aires.
The company further noted: "Proper preparation, assimilation of water solutions and water technologies at this stage could decrease the scope of the (water) crisis."