Water Challenges



Convener: Christopher Arnusch, BGU


Advances in water treatment technology are supported by innovation in materials and exploration of non-conventional approaches to address the still unmet challenges. The concept of structured or functional materials and surfaces in environmental technology is a concept that might impact new emerging water treatment technologies. Accepted topics can include for example, advanced functional materials in membrane and separation technology designed to address challenges such as (bio)fouling, concentration polarisation, selectivity, and resource harvesting.



Convener: Jack Gilron, BIDR


Climate change is already occurring and is driving catastrophic changes in many regions including more frequent droughts. The ability to preserve agriculture and food security in arid regions is challenged by the need to find and recover water from a variety of sources, including groundwater, runoff and residual moisture in the air, while maintaining a minimal carbon footprint. Greenhouse agriculture can be practiced in a manner that reduces the overall water and carbon footprint for the crop growth. This requires innovative desalination schemes and the use of water vapor capture where possible. This session will discuss various strategies for water production and water capture to preserve agriculture in arid conditions. It will discuss, as well, adaptation of cultivation/irrigation techniques to novel sources of water.



Convener: Sivan Isaacson, Dead Sea and Arava Center, and Elli Groner, Dead Sea And Arava Center


Flash floods in semi-arid, arid and hyper-arid regions have their own characteristics such as, infrequency, short duration, high variability in space and time and unpredictability. Flow events and flash floods in arid regions impact varying aspects such as ecology, agriculture, infrastructure, property and may even threaten lives, the need to understand floods mechanisms in those areas is of great importance. This session will cover diverse topics related to flash floods in arid regions such as: remote sensing, paleohydrology, sediment transportation and more.



Convener: Dr. Uri Hochberg, ARO and Prof. Naftali Lazarovitch, BIDR


Research in recent decades has highlighted that deciphering soil and plant hydraulics is the key for understanding plants performances under drought stress. Still, to date, the hydraulic path from the soil to the leaves is largely elusive, mostly because it takes place in microscopic capillaries underground or under metastable conditions that are very difficult to investigate. This session will survey the challenges that we still need to tackle to understand water flow through soil and plants and novel methods that advances the hydraulic research in recent years.



Convener: Jack Gilron, BIDR


Energy and water are inextricably linked. This interconnectedness has been the topic of much analysis research that aims to identify opportunities to limit water and energy consumption in the provision of these two societal pillars. “ (J. Dunne) This session will look at how renewables can be integrated with water management and water production to minimize the carbon footprint associated with human activity in arid regions. The issue of maximal efficiency in use of local water resources to reduce energy costs of distribution will also be considered as will recovery of energy from wastewater.