In Israel, Water Where There Was None – Erin Ailworth (Boston Globe)
On the chalky lower slopes of the Hebron Hills, in an area that gets less rainfall than most parts of Texas, Yatir forest – a man-made forest of more than 4 million trees – and the vineyards it surrounds are potent symbols of Israel’s battle with nature.
With science, technology, and a good amount of chutzpah, the arid country has figured out how to squeeze enough water from a parched landscape to sustain a nation.
As spreading deserts, growing populations, and pollution make water an increasingly precious commodity around the world, Israeli companies are investing, relocating, and seeking partnerships in Massachusetts to build a U.S. platform from which to launch their global ambitions.
State officials and entrepreneurs see collaboration with Israel as an opportunity to build another world-class technology sector, one that will create potable water from the ocean; nurture crops with treated sewage; manage water quality with software; and mine for water in much the same way precious gems are unearthed.
If water consumption continues to grow at its current pace, demand will outstrip available resources by 40% within the next 20 years, according to a study by the global consulting firm McKinsey & Co.