World Water Week is the annual focal point for the globe’s water issues, organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). As the Stockholm Water Prize Laureate (2013), signaling our contribution to addressing water scarcity and sustainable development with more than 10 million hectares of irrigated farmland, we remain committed to advancing knowledge, tools and systems to address the world’s water and climate challenges. Although every week at Netafim is a kind of Water Week, we support the efforts of SIWI to convene thousands of experts and interested stakeholders each year to dialogue and drive further progress in achieving water security for all.
In 2017, World Water Week took place in the last week of August with more than 3,200 delegates from 133 countries with 238 separate sessions on detailed aspects of water challenges and opportunities. At a session of the CEO Water Mandate, in which Netafim participates, our Chief Sustainability Officer, Naty Barak, presented to delegates on collective action to support water and climate outcomes with examples of initiatives from the experience and practice of Netafim. One such example is the way Netafim has driven collaboration, based on scientific research and agronomic expertise, to advance the use of effluent in recycled wastewater. In 2014, we were already way ahead of the game in our home market in Israel where wastewater recycling is over 90% compared to minimal activity in other countries.
Such an approach offers measurable benefits as new water sources are limited, such as relieving the demand for potable water, reducing pollution to rivers and estuaries, helping restore river and lake water levels and offering reliable (drought-proof) water supply at lower cost to the alternative of importing water. This has also been applied in dairy farms in California where we partnered with Sustainable Conservation and De Jaeger dairy farms to develop technology for dairy farm forage crops using wastewater.
Another example we showcased was the positive impact of drip irrigation in rice cultivation that increase yields while significantly reducing the amount of water needed for rice-growing, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, groundwater contamination and uptake of heave metals such as arsenic into rice grains. Our research shows that converting just 10% of global rice fields to drip irrigation is equal to the removal of 40 million personal vehicles off the world’s roads – a major contribution to climate change mitigation.
Advancing such solutions makes every week Water Week at Netafim. At the same time, we believe SIWI’s Water Week adds enormous value to our collective efforts.
View the full presentation: Collective Action to Support Water and Climate Outcomes