|M.Sc Thesis||Department of Industrial Engineering and Management|
|Prof. Boris A.portnov|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
The problem of water supply in the world has become acute. The fact is that only 2.5 percent of the world's water reserves are suitable for drinking, and over 2 billion people do not have access to clean water and are therefore subject to diseases attributed to unfit water.
Israel, as most Mediterranean countries, suffers from extended periods of drought, and has been struggling with water shortage since the day it was born: 65 % of Israel’s area is dessert, in which the yearly average rain water is only 100 mm, but although there is little rain, the water consumption in Israel, as a western developed country, is constantly on the rise. This occurs because the rise in the standard of living and the massive growth in population. Yet, the only solution which stands the test of reality must be sustainable, that is to provide a viable solution for the long term.
The term "sustainable development" was created as a result of the environmental crisis which broke up in is the 1970s. The meaning of the term is: using resources at a rate which will allow the natural processes to renew themselves. As it was termed in the report by the Brundtland commission in 1987, and adopted by the UN Environment and Development Committee in Rio in 1992, the sustainable development is:
“Development which meets the needs of the current generation, without harming the possibility of meeting the needs of the next generations.”
In order to investigate whether water consumption patterns in Israel are sustainable, data on water consumption in 1986 through 2005 were used. Specifically, the data were collected regarding the water consumption, the water potential as well as the annual growth rate of the population. The comparison of the trends was performed using descriptive statistics and regression analysis tools.
The main findings of the study are as follows:
1. Per capita water consumption grew constantly during the study period.
2. There was a downward trend of water potential per capita.
The solution to the problem of water in Israel will be found only when the State of Israel adopts sustainable development policies. This solution is the only solution which will allow finding a formula for minimal utilization of natural resources. It is also an ecological solution which will be useful in the long run for the economy as a whole.