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Israeli technology brings clean drinking water to remote villages in Angola

By solving its own water purification and shortage issues, Israel now provides solutions to those in need

Water tank built by Owini in Angola (Photo: Mitrelli Group)

Israeli water purification technology has helped residents of more than 200 remote African villages in Angola get access to drinking water without having to walk more than 100 meters from the village center, Israeli news website Ynet reported on Tuesday.

The Mitrelli Group, headed by its founder, Haim Taub has developed innovative solutions for Angola over the past 30 years in telecommunications, water, healthcare, housing, education and energy, helping to restore the ailing nation following their devastating civil war up until 2002.

Israel has become a global leader in water purification technology out of its own need to deal with the challenges of chronic water shortages. Having an arid climate – over 50% desert – Israel, itself, suffers from recurring periods of drought. Yet, with innovative technology, it produces 20% more water than it currently uses.

By solving its own water scarcity problems, Israel now provides solutions to other countries and regions suffering from similar predicaments.

Owini, a subsidiary of the Mitrelli Group – in collaboration with Angola’s Ministry of Energy and Water (MINEA) – has been providing Israeli water purification technology and infrastructure to local villages in need.

The latest village to receive the benefits of water purification tech is Bita Tanque, located in the province of Luanda. Here, the residents previously had to walk down to the nearby river – about 2.5 kilometers each way – to get the necessary water for cooking and washing. But after two years of work on the new water infrastructure, villagers have access to water through public drinking fountains conveniently spread throughout the village.

Residents fill up their water containers from one of the four faucets and, in a short period of time, can be back in their homes. In addition, the village now has a number of “launderettes” – large concrete sinks – to bring their laundry and wash items by hand.

Water is pumped and transported through a pipeline from the nearby Cuanza River, where it is then purified and transferred to a storage and distribution facility. Solar energy is used to deliver the water to the fountains and the “launderettes.”

In addition to conserving freshwater resources, Israeli engineers have realized the importance of taking advantage of all water sources – even those traditionally considered unusable – such as treated municipal wastewater and stormwater.

“By 2015, Israel had managed to treat and recycle 86% of its wastewater for agricultural operations, leading the world in wastewater reclamation,” according to Israel21C. “Through Israel’s tertiary treatment processes, recycled wastewater is cleaned to near drinking-quality levels before reaching crops to avoid contamination. The goal is to recycle 95% of wastewater for agriculture by 2025, leaving that much more fresh drinking water for the communities that need it.”

Israel not only leads the industry when it comes to purifying water but also when it literally comes to producing water ‘out of thin air.’

Israeli startup Watergen, founded in 2009, offers a solution to global shortages of water by producing it directly from humidity in the air (AWG).

“Watergen’s water-making machines use a series of filters to purify the air. After the air is sucked in and chilled to extract its humidity, the water that forms is treated and transformed into clean drinking water,” according to the Times of Israel.

In the summer of 2021, Watergen brought its technology to the Navajo Nation – Native American territory covering over 17 million acres – into portions of northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico and a smaller area covering southeastern Utah. Nearly 10,000 families across the Navajo Nation lack access to running water because of contaminated groundwater and droughts. Watergen’s patented technology is currently being tested in the Hard Rock Community and the startup will evaluate whether it can be replicated elsewhere.

“The drinking water crisis is the most important issue of our time, and it is for that reason that Watergen is working tirelessly to realize one goal: to bring drinking water from the air to people everywhere,” said Watergen CEO Michael Mirilashvili.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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