In discussions about water saving, people usually talk about how much water is saved when a new technology is implemented. The discussion often ends here. It is assumed that the water saved will have positive impacts on the environment and security, but might there be anything more?
FoEME certainly thinks so. FoEME has recently published a report about green jobs and the water sector. Interestingly, the report not only calculates the amount of water saved by increasing the number of green-oriented workers but the report also measures the number of jobs created when a certain amount of water is saved!
By focusing on the economic benefits of water saving, specifically the number of new jobs in the Israeli economy that can be created when water is saved, FoEME adds another item onto its long list of reasons why water saving and conservation is so critical in this region. Especially in times of economic uncertainty, the job-creating effects of smart water policy will hopefully be accepted by the governments and corporations running the water system.
One of the most talked about water augment technologies is desalinization. According to the FoEME report, 0.84 permanent jobs will be created per million cubic meters of water supply through desalination. It’s a nice number if you want to save permanent labor costs, but the building costs and energy costs are very expensive compare to all other water supply technologies. Also the environmental threats posed by desalinization (increased air pollution, greenhouse gas production, salty brine released into the sea) give FoEME pause.
Fortunately other more environmentally-friendly courses of actions create more jobs per amount of water saved! By starting an education and awareness raising campaign for water conservation, 3.7 jobs would be created for every million cubic meters of water saved. Changing plant types in gardens to more water-efficient plants would create 65 jobs per million cubic meters of water saved. Implementing measures to reduce water wastage and leakage in municipal systems would create 8.8 jobs per million cubic meters of water saved. Increased grey water recycling plans would create 12.5 jobs per million cubic meters of water saved.
The numbers speak for themselves. Water saving done sustainably will have a positive impact on employment in Israel. Stay tuned for the publication of more blogs that take a deeper look into FoEME’s Green Jobs report!
This entry was written by Daniel Olson, FoEME intern at the Tel Aviv office and a senior Environmental Studies major at Yale University.