Shomera completes "The Greywater Recycling Initiative"
Shomera aims to advance Water Sensitive Cities and Israel’s water economy. In 2008 it launched The “Greywater Recycling Initiative” – a cross-sector collaboration designed to jumpstart greywater recycling in Israel. Till that time, there were virtually no greywater recycling systems authorized to operate in the country. The primary institutional barrier stems from the public health concerns of the Ministry of Health, the authority responsible for granting facilities the permission required to recycle water.
After four years, a greywater recycling pilot was established in a center-city location, and in late 2014 achieved its objective: treated shower water met the stringent water quality standards for reuse, and the greywater recycling system received an “authorization in principle” to operate from the Ministry of Health.
This is a milestone in the advancement of greywater recycling in Israel, as it sets a precedent of a greywater recycling facility located in a densely populated environment to have received official authorization of any kind to operate. The significance of the setting is that the urban environment holds the greatest potential for water conservation resulting from greywater recycling. Conservative forecasts by Israeli analysts estimate cumulative savings of water and energy at 13 billion NIS -17 billion NIS, by 2030 and 2050 respectively.
The Greywater Recycling Initiative also serves to exemplify the importance of creating cross-sector collaborations to influence broad-scale change. Alliances were formed and expanded overtime with influential partners from multiple sectors, including governmental authorities (at the national, regional and local levels), academia, business and third sector. Most noteworthy has been The Ministry of Health’s proactive accompaniment of the initiative from start to finish.
Today, together with key partners, Shomera is examining the possibility of furthering the pilot’s impact by converting the site to a national demonstration center and educational platform, with international outreach. The Ministry of Health has consented to continue to accompany the process.