(Image: California Department of Water Resources)

(Image: California Department of Water Resources)

By Madison Margolin - August 10, 2015

Originally appeared here in Forward

Today, Lake Oroville, California’s second largest reservoir, looks like an almost barren valley. The piers of Enterprise Bridge, once steeped in fresh water, stand tall and dry, supporting the deck over a stream that trickles down the valley’s center.

At the 2015 Summit on Water Technology and the California Drought, held on July 10 in Sacramento, a photo of Lake Oroville flashed before the audience during a presentation by assembly member Marc Levine. “California will never see normal rainfall amounts again,” said Levine, who added that in Israel, too, “the reality is that there is simply not enough water, even in years that there is above-average rainfall.”

But Levine pointed out that while California enters its fourth year of severe drought, Israel maintains a sustainable supply of water. That is thanks to tight water management, efficient technologies and a culture of conservation that has allowed Israel to produce a surplus of 20% more water than it consumes.

It was precisely because of this Israeli innovation that the governor, Jerry Brown, welcomed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to California in March 2014. During a ceremony in Silicon Valley, the two leaders signed a memorandum of understanding to foster cooperation and develop research with an emphasis on water conservation and management. Read More