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River Rehab

June 27, 2010

Last month, The Jerusalem Post featured an article updating the public on the progress of some of the rivers around Israel. As we all know, historically these rivers were highly polluted and potentially fatal to enter. Since 1999, Zalul has worked hard to restore these rivers to their original state and, while we understand that full restoration takes much time and patience, we’re always happy to see large improvements. Here are a few highlights:

The Reading Power Station on the banks of the Yarkon River in Tel Aviv

Just one decade ago, the Kishon River was seen as little more than a “sewage and industrial waste canal,” infamous for the Israel Navy sea commandos who contracted cancer as a result of training in these waters. Since that incident, there has been much effort on the part of the Israeli public (Zalul included) to remove the factory dumping from these waters. While it is not 100% restored, the Kishon is now host to birds and fish and other wildlife. We at Zalul are confident that this trend will continue and the Kishon River will eventually be brought entirely back to life.

The Yarkon River, too, has a dark past. It was the sight of the 1997 Maccabiah Games opening ceremonies, in which four Australian athletes lost their lives when a bridge collapsed beneath them, immersing them in these highly polluted waters. This tragic incident brought this issue of the polluted Yarkon to the public eye, turning the wheels of change to remove polluting bodies along the river. While it is still not deemed safe for swimming, it has recently been approved for boating activities where “secondary contact with the water is made.” Again, we look optimistically to the future of the Yarkon River.

Please read the article in The Jerusalem Post for more information about the Kishon, Yarkon and other rivers around Israel and remember to do your part to keep our waters clean!

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