Sunday, November 23, 2008

Every Little Bit...

Hold on a second while I climb up on my soapbox…

Last night my neighbor dropped by, and I told her I was leaving for the States in a couple of days. She offered to water my plants for me (I have about 100 plants in containers in the courtyard and terraces around my apartment, all connected to a drip irrigation system).

When I told her that I stopped watering the plants on Nov 1, when a new law prohibiting garden watering went into effect, she looked at me with confusion and asked, “You mean you’re really not giving them water? “

I explained that I strongly believed in the need for water conservation, especially as the country is facing such a serious water shortage that there is talk of rationing in the spring.

“Oh that,” she said. “It’s nonsense. There’s plenty of water, it’s just that the government has mismanaged it. We can use whatever water we want, it doesn’t mean anything.”

This from a well-to-do, highly educated thirty-something.

She’s not the only Israeli who has expressed similar thoughts. When I mentioned the new law to my upstairs neighbor, she said, “Oh, that’s just during the day. You can water at night.”

All around my neighborhood, people continue to regularly hose down their cars and terraces- even on mornings when rainfall is predicted.

Every afternoon, I can hear my upstairs neighbor’s irrigation system turn on.

I told my neighbor that I remember how every few years in New Jersey, we suffered a drought and had to adhere to water restrictions and rationing. She looked at me like I was from another planet.

I looked at her in wonder, thinking that she grew up in Israel, with the desert only a short drive away, and yet she had neither a clue nor desire to learn about the need to conserve water.

We’ve got a serious problem here.

(Stepping down from the soapbox..)

I don’t want to call the water police on my neighbors, even when they openly flaunt the water law, but with each passing day I’m getting more and more frustrated with their lack of concern. My neighbor even laughed that her children come home every day, trying to teach her what they learned in school about the water crisis, but she didn’t pay any attention.

So, I’m asking your advice- any ideas of what I can/should do? I found the name of an organization that will come to your home and install water saving faucets, and give suggestions for other measures you can take around the home to save water. I’ll be contacting them as soon as I return from the States.

I think I’ll ask our building committee if they’d like that organization to check our building.

My husband and I are in somewhat of an awkward situation. We moved to Israel 9 years ago, but we’re still considered new immigrants, and Israelis aren’t too open to what ‘newbies’ suggest. But, I’m determined not to let that stop me. This is too important, and some of the measures are easy to take.

Wish me luck, and please send in your thoughts and advice.

[The illustrations I’ve used are from the website, ]

1 comment:

KreatesKards said...

I think it is commendable that you are doing all that you can to save water. We live in AZ and water conservation is a must. We use low flow shower heads, have mostly dessert landscape, water using a timer etc. It is soooo important. I hope that you are able to turn around some of your neighbors ideas. What a blessing that would be.