Israeli water storage practices could help Colorado

Hemmed in by desert and the sea, Israel has made strides in providing water for agriculture and other uses. Some of those methods could be used in Colorado to make the most of an ephemeral resource, said the head of a program that pioneered many of the Israeli techniques.

“Colorado needs some sort of master plan by people who don’t know it can’t be done,” said Dr. Morton Mower, who has led the Jewish National Fund’s Parsons Water Fund.

Mower, a cardiologist and inventor of the implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, will speak about Israeli water projects at 7 tonight at the Colorado Mesa University Center.

The Parsons Fund began by helping communities build small reservoirs, using extended grace periods and low interest rates — low enough to be affordable while ensuring that the communities would maintain them — and grew into a force that helped the nation tap an aquifer.

That provided “60 million cubic meters of new water the country didn’t have before‚” Mower said.

The Parsons Fund also helped arrange for Israeli schools to collect rainwater, garnering enough to supply the schools’ sewer systems and allowing the schools to save money they might otherwise use to buy fresh water, Mower said.

Colorado law allows property owners under limited circumstances to collect rainwater.

Mower, now a Colorado resident, said the state needs more “multifunction reservoirs” that can store rainwater and recycled waters.

Similar reservoirs in Israel will have increased the nation’s water supply by 12 percent over 30 years, Mower said.

The event, sponsored by the Water Center at CMU, is free and open to the public. Free parking is available in the parking structure at 6 p.m.

Mower also will discuss the Jewish National Fund’s mission, vision and work in Israel at 7 p.m. Friday at Congregation Ohr Shalom, 441 Kennedy Ave.


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