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Joe Wilder


posted May 10, 2014

Funds raised by the Jewish National Fund of Canada – Manitoba/Saskatchewan Region's annual fundraiser, the Negev Gala, will go towards a recycled water reservoir in the western Negev. The reservoir receives treated industrial and domestic waste-water which is then used to irrigate a variety of crops in nearby communities. Using recycled water for irrigation is of great importance in a dry country such as Israel, where every drop of water counts. This year's honouree, Joseph J. Wilder, selected the project after his recent trip to Israel.


“The idea of recycling waste-water and providing agricultural solutions to a country that is so short of water is what attracted me to this project, particularly in the community of Sderot,” says Joe Wilder, the year's Negev Gala honouree, “These people have endured rocket attacks and hardship for many years and if I can help alleviate the difficulties they have, I am pleased to assist in that.”


Existing water resources in Israel are both overused and deteriorating in quality. One of the solutions to the water problem currently being developed in Israel is the use of recycled waste-water in agriculture, which both reduces pollution while providing an additional water source for irrigation. KKL-JNF is a leader in the field of unconventional solutions for the severe water problem in Israel and has built dozens of recycled waste-water (effluent) reservoirs. These reservoirs are actually the final stage in a complex process for purifying sewage so it can be reused for irrigation. The growing amount of sewage in Sederot requires a rapid, efficient solution. Recycled water reservoirs are the ideal environmental response as they receive water from surrounding industries and communities and provide water for agricultural irrigation.


“Shortage of water is probably the most crucial environmental problem facing Israel today,” says Rob Berkowits, Executive Director, “We are so pleased to be supporting a project that not only provides a low-cost source of water for the people in the Negev but takes a significant step towards solving a serious pollution problem.”


The future of Israel's water supply depends on the country's ability to develop new sources of water, such as waste-water recycling. The Sderot Recycled Water Reservoir is an example of one of the most advanced methods in the world for saving water and donor support will ensure that Israel stays at the forefront of world agriculture.


This year's Negev Gala will be held at the Centennial Concert Hall on Tuesday, May 27th. The event will honour Joseph J. Wilder, Q.C. and feature jazz and pop singer, Nikki Yanofsky. Tickets are available now through the JNF office at 204-947-0207 or by visiting

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