GENEVA (Feb. 5)
Israel’s success in harnessing limited water resources can be a source of encouragement to other arid countries, a United Nations-sponsored conference on science and technology was told here today by an Israeli water expert.
That appraisal was offered by Aaron Wiener, engineer of Israel’s “master plan” for nationwide irrigation, at the UN Conference on the Application of Science and Technology for less developed areas. More than 1, 830 technical papers have been submitted to delegates from 103 member nations who are meeting for two weeks to hammer out a pattern of aid to the underdeveloped countries.
Mr. Wiener, director-general of Israel’s Water Authority, told the conference that by planning its waters resources policy, Israel had succeeded in creating during the past decade “a flourishing modern irrigated agriculture, supplying more than 70 percent of the food consumed” by the population “and contributing significantly to the exports of the country.”
He said that Israel had made available and would continue to make available all the water needed for its mushrooming towns and industries. He added “that this can be done in an area of water scarcity can hold out some encouragement for other arid countries.
EXPERT WARNS AGAINST OPTIMISM ON DESALINATION OF SEA WATER
The Israeli water expert went on to warn against undue optimism about proposals for freshening salt water and making it work for man, adding that “arid countries labor under a natural handicap which in the present state of their Knowledge cannot be overcome.”
“Proclamations are made from time to time prophesying the end of water shortages in arid countries by desalination of sea water or other panaceas, ” he said. “Though these might hold some promise for the future, they have ho significant large scale application within the usual time range of our planning.”
Other Israeli speakers were I. H. Landau, of the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, and Y. Admoni, head of the Israeli Agricultural and Home Economics Expansion Service. Mr. Landau emphasized that changes in agricultural production seldom occurred “unless the individual farmers respond to and accept innovations. ” He cited Israel’s experience with settlement patterns. Mr. Admoni urged that the conference study a plan for short term courses for “local agricultural technicians.” He said this could be arranged