About the Institute > Introducing the ZIWR
Introducing the ZIWR
Prof. Eilon Adar
The Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research (ZIWR) was founded in January 2002 within the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, atthe Sede Boqer Campus of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
The ZIWR, now in its advanced stages of establishment, unites under one roof all aspects of water resources research, including extensive research activities in diverse water sciences ranging from groundwater production and desalination technologies to treatments for marginal water sources.
|Particular emphasis is placed on research and development of water resources in drylands. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has taken upon itself the challenge of establishing this water institute, recognizing the importance of such an initiative, both now and for the future of the entire region.
The sciences and technologies of water desalination,
water engineering, environmental hydrology, hydro-geology, hydro-biology,
and water resource economics and management are the disciplines
practiced in the ZIWR.
The ZIWR is developing a unique graduate studies curriculum in Hydrology, Water
Engineering and Water Resources Management, to meet the increasing need for hydrologists,
water engineers and water planners in Israel and the Middle East. The program
emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach through the integration of science with
Two departments operate within the Institute:
In addition, a new Pilot Plant for Desalination and Water Treatment
was recently inaugurated on the Sede Boqer campus and will be used for
the study and development of advanced desalination technologies. A second
pilot plant for the study of flow and transport in groundwater reservoirs
(the Artificial Aquifer Laboratory), is also planned.
Trans boundary groundwater reservoirs in the Middle East
Nowhere is the impact of water scarcity felt more than in the Middle East,
where millions of people continuously vie for a share in ever-diminishing
supplies. Here, annual renewable water resources amount to less than 20% of
the global average.
Israel is a world leader in water know-how and conservation in agriculture.
The total per capita water consumption in Israel is about one half of that
defined as the shortage red line (about 500 cubic meters of potable water
per capita per year). However, the demand and the actual consumption of water
are still far beyond the annual rate of replenishment, exceeding the safe
yield of the regional water resources.
All groundwater reservoirs in the Middle East are shared by at least two
countries: Israel and Jordan (Arava aquifers); Syria, Israel and Lebanon
(Jordan River resources), Israel and Palestine (Judean and Coastal
aquifers). Such is the significance of water in the Middle East that
prominent in all existing peace treaties, and will play a major role in
all future negotiations. Political scientists argue that there remain
unresolved issues between Israel and its neighbors, namely: land and water.
Experts say that the successful development of the Middle East, and its
political stability, rest largely on the sustained supply of usable water
to all countries
of the region.
Scarce transboundary water resources among arid regions are viewed as a
trigger for conflict. By the same token they might also serve as a catalyst
for co-operation in management of limited cross-border water resources.
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