River Rehabilitation

נחל תנינים
Major degradation of rivers and streams and dispersed governance
Clean, robust rivers and freshwater habitats are able to support Israel's unique biodiversity, landscape and recreational and leisure activities
80% of Israel’s rivers rehabilitated to ‘good’ ecological status within 15 years

Yad Hanadiv has partnered with primary stakeholders in the field of river rehabilitation in Israel to support the design and implementation of frameworks capable of improving the state of Israel’s rivers and streams. Our guiding principle is based on Integrated River Basin Management, inspired by the 2000 EU Water Framework Directive.

In the first decades of its existence, the State of Israel struggled both to provide food and water for its growing population and to develop modern agricultural practices. To address this, the government carried out ambitious national irrigation and drainage projects, drawing heavily on natural water resources for drinking and irrigation purposes (such as the National Water Carrier, the Yarkon-Negev pipeline, drainage of Lake Hula, and more).

These projects significantly altered the course, water quality and natural flow of rivers, severely damaging the ecosystem. As a result, we find ourselves today with grossly depleted and polluted streams whose natural flows and structures have been changed, and over-pumped natural springs and groundwater.

Following decades of degradation new opportunities have emerged to improve the health of Israel’s waterways: river pollution is now mostly being tackled by sewage treatment facilities, and massive desalination efforts have helped to replenish natural waterways. 

Yad Hanadiv’s primary role lies in developing organisational frameworks for the integration and dissemination of practical professional knowledge, providing advanced monitoring capabilities and encouraging organisations to support citizen engagement. We hope to see practical applications of integrated river management tools and methodologies by entities such as Drainage and River Authorities; an increased number of river rehabilitation initiatives applying an integrated approach with nature-based solutions; and improved ecological status of freshwater habitats and wetlands, as measured by effective monitoring.

Pew Charitable Trusts
The Society for the Conservation of Nature in Israel