Drought is a huge issue in the US this summer as we all know, but Israel has always dealt with it.
Two-thirds of Israel are perpetually in drought, but because Israel recycles its wastewater and uses desalination for drinking water, it actually has a water surplus this year.
After decades of massive investment in water infrastructure, Israel recycles 75% of its wastewater, mostly for agriculture, and by next year, 85% of drinking water will come from desalination plants, reports Reuters.
Now Israel plans to rejuvenate its rivers and the Jordan river comes first.
That river is down to just 5% of its historic flows because of water being diverted by Israel and surrounding countries. Today, this Biblical river is just a narrow stream in many areas, polluted and stagnant, says Reuters.
Israel plans to retun 150 million cubic meters of water to the river every year, and after 10 years, "erase its debt to nature," Energy and Water Minister Uzi Landau said in announcing the plan. It is also building a major wastewater treatment plant that will improve water quality.
The plan will also boost tourism, which is at an all-time high in Israel, many of them Christian pilgrims. Once the river is rehabilitated, they will build their trip around it, Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov told Reuters.