In Face Of Water Crisis, Indian Minister Praises Israeli Technologies: “Israel Is My Guru”
In recent years, Israel has established itself as a powerhouse in the fields of water desalination and purification, as well as drip irrigation for agriculture. Several cutting-edge Israeli technologies are currently presented at ‘India Water Week’ in New Delhi, which was inaugurated by Israel’s minister of agriculture Uri Ariel.
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During the event, India’s water, agriculture and finance ministers expressed their interest in tightening the relations between the two nations. “India’s water issues need our urgent attention, and Israel has a proven track record in agriculture and water technologies. Israel is definitely my guru,” India’s water minister Uma Bharti said at the inauguration event, according to a statement released today.
Arun Jaitley, India’s finance minister said that India is facing major challenges in the field of water supply, and that’s why “we are strengthening our cooperation with Israel, our role model.”
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According to Ariel, “water is essential to humankind, and it’s urgent that we conserve our limited water resources and efficiently use them. Thanks to the challenges our small country is facing, and our spirit of innovation, we are able to excel in technologies such as water purification and preservation, drip irrigation, and water recycling. Our collaboration with India is important for both nations.”
Ariel is expected to inaugurate an Israeli-Indian agritech center tomorrow.
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One-fifth of the world’s population lives in areas where water is scarce
Water shortage is a pressing issue worldwide: According to the UN, 1.2 billion people (almost one-fifth of the world’s population) live in areas where water is scarce, and another 500 million people are nearing this situation. The World Bank estimates that 21 percent of infectious diseases in India are related to unsafe water. In India, diarrhea alone causes 1,600 deaths daily — equivalent to eight jumbo jets crashing each day.
This year, India Water Week (April 4-8) is being held in collaboration with the Israeli government, including the country’s agriculture, foreign and economy ministries. During the week, Israeli companies in the fields of water supply and agricultural irrigation are showcasing 20 different technologies at the Israeli pavilion. According to the Israeli embassy in India, the delegation also includes Israeli drip irrigation giant Netafim, and Israeli desalination leader IDE Technologies.
This is the fourth year India is hosting India Water Week, but this is the first year that Israel is its partner. Israeli ambassador to India Daniel Carmon praised the partnership: “Israel is a development laboratory and we’ll make every effort to justify the trust that the Indian government and people have entrusted upon Israel, its capabilities and experience.”
Photos: Israeli Embassy, New Delhi; Yann