New Delhi: After agriculture and defence, Israel is all set to cooperate with India in the area of water management, Israeli Ambassador to India Daniel Carmon said on Wednesday.
“If you take the concept of collaboration in defence adaptive to other areas like we did in agriculture, the next big thing we would like to do would be in water,” Carmon told media persons here ahead of the India Water Week from April 4 for which Israel has been chosen as the partner country.
“We are already doing. We already have some success stories here in India,” he said.
“But the potential is so big and the need is so big and the interest of both countries is so big that we should and we can do much more.”
Carmon said that when President Pranab Mukherjee visited Israel in October last year, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered to share his country's expertise in the areas of water management, recycling, desalination and irrigation.
He said that Israel was closely following the various programmes of the Indian government in the area of water.
“Since we have encountered pretty similar challenges in Israel, since over the years we have faced acute water shortage... I can share with you that a few years ago there was a water crisis in Israel,” the ambassador said.
He said that Israel gets about 500-600 mm of rainwater in a year "which is nothing when you compare to the need."
"We have a development laboratory in which we have research and development, in which we have developed technologies," he said.
"Water is definitely one area in which we have developed so many new technologies."
Carmon said that Israel would love to share its expertise in water in areas indicated by India and would encourage Israeli companies to work in India in these areas.
He said that Israeli Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel would lead an Israeli delegation, including experts in water technologies, for the India Water Week during the course of which a number of seminars and meetings have been planned.
Ariel, along with union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti, will jointly inaugurate an exhibition and the Israeli pavilion at Pragati Maidan here on April 5.
The next day, the visiting minister will leave for Ladwa in Haryana where he will inaugurate a centre of excellence in agriculture that has been built with Israeli assistance.
Stating that agriculture and water were closely linked in terms of food security, Carmon said that Israel was a leader in drip irrigation technology.
He said that there was vast scope for cooperation between India and Israel in the area of water.“
"For example, here in India there are eight plants where Israeli technology desalinates water from the sea," Carmon said.
"Eight is nothing. We could have 800 plants," he said.