My first days where spent with Eli Cohen of Ayala Water Ecology touring his magnificent work in Tel Aviv, which successfully takes sewage from high-rise buildings and utilizes natural biological systems to cleanse the water underground and create beautiful ponds, landscaping and parks in the neighborhood for residents to enjoy.
Israel’s success in water conservation, including recycling and reusing water, is something we must attune to in California. I hear and read everyone speaking of El Niño and our San Diego County Water Authority attempting to reduce water restrictions purely for economic purposes. Based on what I have learned in my quest here in Israel, neither of these are viable solutions. Those of us very close to water understand the long-term effects of our 15-year drought, and El Niño is just not the answer. In my opinion, it will create even more problems due to our faulty infrastructure and limited capacity to collect any storm water at all.
After spending two days at Ayala Water Ecology’s farm in Zippori, Israel, and studying the natural process of cleansing water and the productive outcomes in agriculture, landscaping, swimming pools, river and lake rehabilitation, wineries, hard industrial waste, chemicals, gas stations and army bases, I am confident our attempts at water recycling (what little we do) in California need a different approach. We need to stop trying to control the uncontrollable and allow nature to do what it does best. This is the expertise Eli Cohen has so successfully applied for many decades in Israel and around the world.
The natural life that thrives from Ayala Water Ecology projects not only exudes water conservation and economic viability, but most importantly their approach allows the natural world and human world to coexist synergistically, benefiting our ecosystem, our infrastructure and our quality of life.
I will be spending time at WATEC in the Ayala Water Ecology booth (#102) to absorb the teachings of Eli Cohen and define Sustainability Matters’ partnership in bringing Ayala Water Ecology to the United States. Stay tuned!