It’s water crisis time in
This is the fifth consecutive winter to yield below average rainfall in
As water crises go, this is a bad one. As we look forward to six months of cloudless skies, the Kinneret,
The National Water Carrier is a five feet in diameter concrete pipeline that conveys a third of Israel’s drinkable water from the Kinneret to the centres of the country’s population, and the thirsty Negev beyond. Built in the 50’s and 60’s it was a triumph of Zionist pioneering ingenuity. During its construction, half of
But here’s the problem: That’s exactly the amount by which water consumption has grown in
That’s why technology, though wonderfully helpful, is unlikely to solve this problem alone. We’ll always find ways to consume the blessings that technology yields. To avert future water crises, we’ll have to get into the habit of consuming less.
It can be done. In the face of the water shortage of the early 90’s public campaigns to conserve and reduce water usage cut consumption by 15%.
Recently I had the chance to visit the bare and frugal apartment of one of Israel's leading poskim halakhic decisors) and ask him whether there was any halakhic basis for requiring people to save water.
He looked at me as if I'd just asked him which way was up and answered,
"Of course. We should always consume only as much as we need of the blessings that God puts in in the world." (He proved this from Mishnah Berurah, Orach Haim 242:4, which says that people should limit their consumption during the week so that Shabbat will be extra special by comparison.)
Most of us cannot live as simply as this rabbi. But we can share his gratitude for the blessing of water and learn to use it with an appreciation of its preciousness.