Texas and Nevada hope for increased water collaborations with Israel

Published on Wednesday, 23 October 2013 by Webmaster

Texas and Nevada hope for increased water collaborations with Israel
As the leaders of sun-drenched and water-starved southwestern US regions, governors Rick Perry of Texas and Brian Sandoval of Nevada expressed eagerness on Tuesday to see Israeli water technologies expand in the Lone Star and Silver states.

“Water is an issue that will define our times. I grew up with a very special affinity to the importance of water,” Perry said of his upbringing in a rural dry-land cotton farm.

For his part, Sandoval described his childhood on a small Nevadan sheep farm, which was “so far out in the rural area that we didn’t have a municipal water supply” and relied on a well tinged with iron.

“I would be embarrassed to go to school because all my T-shirts were orange,” he said. Perry and Sandoval were addressing audience members at an opening session of the Water Technology and Environmental Control (WATEC) Exhibition and Conference in Tel Aviv, organized annually by the Israel Trade Fairs Center and the Kenes exhibition company.

"It is fitting that this conference is held in Israel. Israel faces some special challenges in a lot of different ways, but certainly from the standpoint of water," Perry said. "Texas faces many of the same challenges that Israel faces today. We must strive to use new technologies to conserve and expand the supplies of the fresh water."

"This country is leading the way," Perry said. "From a Texas standpoint, what we're involved with is only the beginning. We're ready to embrace the new technologies that will come out of this conference."

Not to be outshone, Sandoval also told participants of the welcome partnerships they would find in Nevada. He, too, arrived with a 50-member delegation of Nevadans eager to hear about the Israeli water industry – the first such Nevadan trade mission to Israel, he said.

Although the city of Las Vegas has made huge strides in terms of confronting water challenges, and features the new Nevada Center of Excellence for water management and data analytics, the Southern Nevada Water Authority is still facing huge challenges, Sandoval stressed. A leader in municipal water, the authority is eager to form partnerships with the global community. Israel's national water corporation, Mekorot, already has a home in Reno, Nevada, the governor noted.

"You see the success story of what has come out of the desert here in such a short time," Sandoval said, adding that Israel's success gave him hope that he "can do something for [his] great state."

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