The Water Initiative

Through the Texas-Israel Alliance’s historic Israel-Texas Water Innovation Showcase in May 2017, we have built strong relationships across Texas water entities and understood the enormous potential for Israeli water technology integration across the state of Texas.

 

Texas has a plethora of severe and systematic water needs across diverse sectors and there is a strong appetite across water governance bodies in Texas to leverage Israeli innovation to meet the needs of the state. The goal of The Water Initiative is to leverage funding the network, funding apparatuses, and legal frameworks around water in Texas all to promote Israeli technology en masse throughout the state.

 

Water needs in Texas are so severe to the extent that government agencies across the board view tackling water issues as one of the main strategies to ensure economic development for the state. According to the official state Texas water resource development body, Texas Water Development Board, if bold new water systems and technologies are not introduced, the annual economic losses resulting from water shortages would be approximately $73 billion in 2020.

 

For the Israeli water industry, the opportunity is enormous. Texas water market is estimated at $9 billion, with 4600 public water utilities, 5000+ corporate facilities, refineries, manufacturing plants, thousands of farms and ranches, and dozens of major institutions and universities.

 

Our organization has had detailed discussions with a number of strategic leaders across Texas, and we would like to share some indications of the extreme interest.

 

The Texas-Israel Alliance’s Water Initiative is about developing, spearheading, and leveraging strategic government and industry relationships to create the incentives necessary to launch bold new initiatives in water in Texas.
 

Israel leads the world in water innovation in areas as diverse as leakage, farming efficiency, recycling waste, desalination, aquifer storage, oil and gas industry water efficiency, etc. Israel has created a veritable water revolution unlike anywhere in the world, and the Texas-Israel Alliance is committed to helping the state of Texas leverage this diverse solutions.

The Texas-Israel Alliance has formed the Texas Water Committee and an Israeli Water Advisory Council comprising Israel's leading water experts, all of whom serve either in academic or governmental roles (avoiding conflicts of interest), who will advise governmental leadership in Texas on how best to leverage cutting edge water management technology. The Texas Water Committee includes all state entities that manage water resources within the state of Texas.

 

As a non-profit, we do not receive commission from any business deals made. Our only goal is play an important role in strengthening the Texas economy through water resource management systems from our greatest ally, Israel.

Texas-Israel Alliance Water Initiative Info Graphic

Israel Projects Roadshow

A Mekorot Delegation to Houston, Texas 

 

The Texas-Israel Alliance organized high-level meetings between the leadership of the national Israeli water company Mekorot and the top Texas water officials.

Mekorot Water Technology Fund

David Balsar, Head of Innovation Division, Mekorot

An overview of global water trends from Big Data to Circular Economy and the opportunities.

Mekorot’s Innovation and Digital Transformation as an Opportunity

Moti Shiri, VP for Technology, Mekorot

Galit Sasson, Senior Process Engineer, Central District, Mekorot

Sharing details of the holistic new operational system including SCADA, AMI and cybersecurity

Mekorot’s International Operation – New Horizon for International Activity

Barak Graber, Manager of the Business Unit, Mekorot

Discussing Mekorot’s international strategy and doing business with Mekorot

Mekorot’s Infrastructure Projects

Avi Malul, Head of Development of Infrastructure, Mekorot

Omer Bar, Process and Operation Engineer, Shafdan WWTP, Mekorot

Projects discussed will include: Sorek B Desalination Plant Transmission System; Western Galilee Desalination Plant Transmission System; 450 New Deep & Shallow boreholes drilling program; New desalinated water transmission system to the North of Israel a new national carrier to the north; Implementation of Master plans to the Southern Desert Regions and Central Israel (new 3 additional national carriers); Effluent industrial IPR plant (50 million m3/y) and transmission system

Mekorot’s Infrastructure Projects 

Yossi Yaacoby, Chief of Staff to CEO, Mekorot

Eric Wessels, PE, Utility Management Services Lead, HDR

Projects discussed will include: Sorek B Desalination Plant Transmission System; Western Galilee Desalination Plant Transmission System; 450 New Deep & Shallow boreholes drilling program; New desalinated water transmission system to the North of Israel a new national carrier to the north; Implementation of Master plans to the Southern Desert Regions and Central Israel (new 3 additional national carriers); Effluent industrial IPR plant (50 million m3/y) and transmission system

BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION SUPPORTING THE TEXAS-ISRAEL WATER INITIATIVE

January 30th 2019

SENATE RESOLUTION NO. 98, Sponsored by State Senator (D) Jose Rodriguez

HOUSE RESOLUTION No. 111, Sponsored by State Representative (R) Phil King

 

WHEREAS, Israel ’s water management policies have placed it at the forefront of innovation, and the Lone Star State is fortunate to share in the exchange of knowledge through its close relationship with Israel and the efforts of the Texas-Israel Alliance, as well as ongoing efforts by the Jewish Federations of Texas, Hadassah, and other organizations in the Texas Jewish community, as well as the broader pro-Israel community composed of all faiths and political affiliations; and

 

WHEREAS, Although drought is a perennial problem in Texas, the state is only 12 percent desert, while Israel is 60 percent desert and 40 percent semiarid land; determined to "make the desert bloom," Israel has enjoyed spectacular success through a combination of strong water policy, cutting-edge water-saving technologies, and the diversification of water sources; and

 

WHEREAS, The Texas-Israel Alliance established the Israel-Texas Water Initiative with a team of five Israeli and four Texan experts; together, they have worked to identify technologies and methods developed by Israel that can be implemented by local water utilities or mandated through legislation; and

 

WHEREAS, Droughts exact an enormous economic and human toll on our state, but as we look for creative, innovative solutions, our enduring partnership with Israel is improving our ability to strengthen drought resiliency and act as effective stewards of critical water resources; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED, That the Senate of the State of Texas, 86th Legislature, hereby recognize the nation of Israel for its outstanding achievements in water management; and, be it further

 

RESOLVED, That the Texas Senate express appreciation for the important contributions of the Texas-Israel Alliance and the advisers in its Israel-Texas Water Initiative, the Jewish Federations of Texas, Hadassah, and other organizations in the Texas Jewish community, as well as the broader pro-Israel community composed of all faiths and political affiliations. RodrÕguez

Feautured in the Times of Israel and the Jerusalem Post

 

The Texas Israel Alliance, Israeli Ministry of Economy, and the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment held a historic conference on Israel-Texas water collaboration on May 5. Senior Israeli and Texas officials and critical water stakeholders came together for a event addressing how Texas can benefit from Israeli innovative water solutions.

 

According to Texas-Israel Alliance's Executive Director Toba Hellerstein, "this is a historic event in Israel-Texas relations. Days after the Governor signed into law a bill which penalizes companies engaging in the anti-Israeli Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement, we are showing that in fact increased economic relations builds strategic relationships and mutual prosperity between the Lone Star states."

 

“This is a significant event for the water industry, and the first of its kind in the state of Texas,” said the new Israeli economic consul Shay Luvshis. "It also signifies a new page in Israeli-Texas relations."

 

Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller gave the conference's keynote speech, emphasizing his aggressive pursuit of Texas-Israel business initiatives and his relaunch of the Texas-Israel Exchange council. "Texas and Israel are not only friends, they are core economic partners, and the partnership between Texas-Israel Alliance and the Ministry of Economy plays a critical role in allowing us to improve cooperation between our states."

 

The conference featured two of the leading water experts in Texas, Andrew Sansom, Executive Director of the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, and Carlos Rubinstein, former chairman of the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) and former Commissioner for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

 

A delegation of 8 Israeli water companies presented groundbreaking Israel water technologies developed in Israel which are critical to the needs of companies, municipals, and policy-makers in Texas. Gil Shaki, the Israeli Senior Director for Water & Energy technology at the Innovation Authority, presented the history behind Israel being the world's #1 leader in water technology. Shaki continued to thank the initiative taken by the Texas-Israel Alliance and the Ministry of Economy for spearheading "an essential showcase of Texas-Israeli water relations."

 

The event's title sponsor, Hydra Water Solutions, presented a case study on how Texas business leadership can actively seek out partnerships with Israeli water companies to further improve the value of Texas-made water solution. Israeli companies Elbit Systems and Master Meter also sponsored the event. Elbit presented on the importance of their superior drone technology in monitoring water in agriculture, and Master Meter presented its innovative metering solutions to improve water conservation.

 

Texas Representative Lyle Larson, Chair of the Natural Resources Committee, had planned to participate in the event, but instead was meanwhile engaged in an active debate on water legislation in the Texas House of Representatives.

 

According to the Texas-Israel Alliance Chairman Blaine Nelson, "Our Executive Director Toba Hellerstein has organized a truly historic initiative in her first few months at the Texas-Israel Chamber of Commerce, and I am extremely bullish about what this organization will accomplish. Water is only the beginning."

 

"The Texas-Israel Alliance is a crucial actor in the expansion of commerce bilaterally between our country and Israel.  There is a significant ‘win-win’ in enhancing water industry collaboration between Texas and Israel.  Both have significant current and future water needs, and Israeli water technology brings innovative and dynamic potential solutions.  This conference was an important step in advancing the efficient utilization of this critical resource to meet future economic and population growth in Texas and Israel," said George Seay, Chairman of Annandale Capital, and a very active board member of the Texas-Israel Alliance.