Few people realize just how much water goes into the makings of modern civilization. It takes 40 liters of water to turn a stalk of wheat into a slice of bread — and that’s aside from the 1,300 liters of water needed to grow a kilo of wheat. Generating one megawatt hour (1,000 kilowatt hours) of electricity requires 1.6 barrels of oil, but you also need 30,000 gallons of water to do the job. Even producing a sheet of paper requires 10 liters of water — excluding the water needed to grow the tree that the paper was produced from.
Considering the fact that only 3 percent of the water on earth is fresh water, and that more than half of that is in the form of inaccessible glaciers, it becomes clear just what an essential service Israeli water filtration leader Amiad provides to the world, with products that allow water companies and governments to filter out contaminants and produce clean water for users.
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One of the first (and the biggest) water technology companies in the world, Amiad sells to 180 countries around the world, and employs over 400 people at its Galilee headquarters, said company CEO Arik Dayan. “In Israel, we have reached the point where we are able to recycle about 90% of our wastewater, and this is a model we are hoping to implement in the places where we work, to as great an extent as possible.”
Water filtration is not the “sexiest” technology in the world, admits Dayan, but it is one of the most important. “What we produce is true green technology, benefiting not just the environment, but helping to feed humanity. About 70 percent of fresh water is used in agriculture, while another 19 percent goes to industry.
Growing 10 times more food
As the population of the world grows, and more people in the developing world enter the middle class, the need for fresh water has skyrocketed. We are going to have to increase crop yields by 50 percent within two decades in order to feed the 8.3 billion people who will be inhabiting the world.
“With more demand comes more competition, and we have already seen wars breaking out over water,” Dayan added. In other words, advanced water filtration of the type offered by Amiad is important not just for the food economy – it is likely to be a key element in preventing war in the future.
The results speak for themselves. “I recently visited India together with Economic Minister Naftali Bennett, where we met with some of Amiad’s customers. They told us that with our systems, they are able to recycle enough water to grow ten kilos of cucumbers in an area where they previously had been able to grow just one kilo,” said Dayan, who has heard versions of that story from around the world. “Ensuring that there is enough clean water to grow the food burgeoning populations need is a concern for farmers and governments everywhere, and in many areas governments are beginning to legislate use of recycled water,” with Amiad supplying the technology to filter out pollutants.