For years, public service announcements warned Israelis to save water: Take shorter showers. Plant resilient gardens. Conserve. Then Israel invested heavily in desalination technology and professed to have solved the problem by tapping into the abundant waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The once ubiquitous conservation warnings vanished.
Now, a five-year drought is challenging that strategy, as farmers struggle and the country’s most important bodies of water shrink.
It’s a confounding situation for a country that places itself on the forefront of desalination technology in an arid region, where water is a key geostrategic issue that has its own clauses in peace agreements.