With winter coming later each year and Israel facing a severe water crisis, the Ministry of Religious Services has launched a new initiative aimed at saving water.
The ministry is encouraging mikvah operators across the country to install special filters that would enable mikvaot to recycle water and reduce the frequency of replacing water at the ritual baths.
The new move is expected to save some 35,314 cubic feet a year in the 700 mikvaot in Israel.
The ministry has allocated a special budget for the project, in order to facilitate the move for religious councils. Installing the special filters is also expected to ultimately save money for the councils by reducing water costs and sewage fees.
The annual expenditure of a mikvah is estimated to total about $5,000, and the investment in the filter, which costs $2,500, should pay for itself within two years.
Meanwhile, the ministry has also decided to promote the installation of new energy-saving water heating systems in mikvaot that would cut on spending and be more environmentally-friendly.
The new systems will be powered by gas and electricity and backed up by solar systems, replacing the existing diesel fuel-based – and highly polluting – systems.