Rehabilitating Israel’s Streams and Rivers

David Katz*, Alon Tal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

6 Scopus citations


For the first several decades of Israel’s existence, water left in streams was considered a waste of a precious resource. Streams themselves were seen as hazards to be managed, with little perceived value other than serving as convenient conduits for disposal of sewage and other unwanted effluents. As a result, the country’s streams were largely denuded, polluted, and rerouted to reduce flood risks. Legal, institutional, and political frameworks that have emerged over the past 20 years promoting rehabilitation of the country’s streams signal a shift in public perception and public policy. In addition, recent advances in desalination infrastructure adding substantial quantities of freshwater and improved sewage treatment standards further raise the prospects of a new deal for Israel’s streams. After years of intensive development and chronic water scarcity, however, several challenges still stand in the way of stream rehabilitation. This chapter reviews the causes of degradation of Israel’s streams, recent policy measures to promote their rehabilitation, and the primary obstacles still facing actual rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Issues in Water Policy
Number of pages17
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameGlobal Issues in Water Policy
ISSN (Print)2211-0631
ISSN (Electronic)2211-0658


  • Master Plan
  • Rehabilitation Project
  • State Comptroller
  • Wastewater Treatment Facility
  • Water Authority


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