Brown Bag Webinar: The Evolution of the Water Sector in Israel: The Role of Mekorot, the National Water Company of Israel






Diego Berger, Ph.D.
Coordinator of International Projects, Mekorot-The National Water Company of Israel

The severe scarcity of "natural" water resources has forced Israel to implement forward-thinking policies, create advanced technologies, and make decisions that were not always economically supported. Much labor and investment were required to address Israel’s lack of "natural" water resources.

Key pillars of the Israeli Water Sector are (1) all water supplied/consumed must be measured, (2) all water resources belong to the Public and must be administered by the State for the well-being of all the inhabitants, (3) centralized management by the Israel Water Authority, and (4) the water sector is self-financing through water bills. Israel’s Integrative Water Resources Management (IWRM) includes reliance on surface water, groundwater, sewage use, brackish water, and desalinated seawater. Israel’s management structure and master planning enable Israel to be prepared to face the consequences of year-to-year rainfall variability and climate change.

This presentation will explain the role of Mekorot, the national water company of Israel, in implementation of Israel’s policies and IWRM strategies and will include discussion of supply system efficiencies, pricing policies, and use of effluent and desalinated seawater.

Diego Berger has worked with Mekorot as a researcher in the Laboratory & Lake Kinneret Watershed Unit since 1996. He has a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Buenos Aires and an MS and PhD in Environmental Engineering and Water Resources Management from the Israeli Institute of Technology. Berger’s professional work is focused on water resources management, surface and groundwater hydrology, precipitation-runoff and groundwater modeling, biological and chemical modeling of lakes and reservoirs, and optimization of water supply systems. Berger has been actively involved in consulting work on behalf of Mekorot on hydrology and water resources management issues. Since 2014, he has served as coordinator for Mekorot’s overseas projects. He has taught classes at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev and the Israeli Institute of Technology’s International School of Engineering. Diego is married and has three daughters.

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