Despite the fact that water covers three quarters of Earth’s surface, countries all over the world suffer from potential or current water shortages. Water consumption well outpaces supply, particularly in arid nations that struggle to meet their agricultural water needs. Israel, as a nation more than 50 percent covered in desert, has grappled with this problem since its beginnings. The technologies it has developed in response allow it to flourish, and it is doing more every year to expand those technologies around the world.

Technologies to Gain Usable Water
The two ways to adjust to the conditions that lead to water shortages are straightforward: creating more usable water and conserving the water that is available. Israel has long worked for ways to get the most out of the water available to it. Mekoret, for example, is a state-owned company that focuses on all aspects of water provision. It has created and applied water desalination techniques, deep drilling techniques, and an abundance of water treatment and purification techniques that increase the total amount of water available to the country. It has been developing the technologies it uses for over 50 years. Other private companies like Amiad Water Systems focus on particular aspects of the process–filtration in Amiad’s case.

Ways to Use Less Water
Cleaning and reusing water provides an important strategy that nations are learning to use more and more efficiently, often following the leadership Israel provides in this area. The country’s best known water technology, though, is drip irrigation. This technique focuses on applying water directly to crops, rather than flooding the area. The concept, led by Netafim, is that you should use only the amount of water needed for the plants consuming it, rather than enough to flood the entire area. While the precise savings has yet to be scientifically determined, the concept in a world where 80 percent of water usage is agricultural holds significant promise.

Israel’s leadership in water technology provides a fertile source for startups and investment opportunities that stand to help the world address an ongoing environmental problem. Barnea & Co. has broad experience in guiding investment strategies and legal considerations in water tech areas.