The Arava Institute has recently become a partner of CONSERVE, along with several US universities.
This project, led by the University of Maryland and funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), was initiated in 2016 as part of the Water for Agriculture Challenge program, intended to solve critical water resource problems in rural and agricultural watersheds across the United States. Within this framework, CONSERVE is focused on exploring non-traditional irrigation water sources that will enable agricultural producers to conserve groundwater, and on developing cost effective, sustainable water treatment technologies to improve the quality of these water sources.
CONSERVE will evaluate the availability of non-traditional water sources; identify the socio-behavioral, economic, and regulatory factors that impact the use of these sources; and develop, implement, and evaluate on-farm treatment technologies for the safe and successful use of non-traditional water. The knowledge gathered through this research will then be used with local communities to employ experiential education to teach, train and inspire future leaders.
The Arava Institute’s Center for Transboundary Water Management (CTWM) is the only non-US partner in the project. The role of CTWM in the project is to provide Israeli case studies on the reuse of wastewater in agriculture. Israel has been successfully reusing wastewater in agriculture for over 30 years. As such, there are many lessons that may be adopted by the US from the Israeli experience. CTWM will provide these lessons, in terms of science, technologies and policies, to the CONSERVE team.