On Thursday, October 26th, the Keren Kayemet Le’Israel-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) held a ceremony to inaugurate the Photovoltaic (PV) system established in the Mishmar Hasharon reservoir.
This is the first solar-powered energy system in the world to be installed on the banks of a water reservoir. The solar PV system supplies most of the needed electricity to operate the reservoir’s water pumps. The system is capable of operating at 635 kWh, which will save the Water Association around NIS 500,000 per year.
The solar system is installed on sheets adjacent to the reservoir walls, and is a joint project of the Emek Hefer water associations and Solatics.
The ceremony was attended by KKL-JNF World Chairman, Mr. Daniel Atar, who welcomed the joint project, “KKL-JNF sees agriculture as an asset to this country and not just as a means to make a living.
The government butchers every sacred cow, and this includes the attempt to rid of agriculture. But we will continue to support the field of agriculture and strengthen settlement in Emek Hefer and in Israel as a whole.
The water associations of Emek Hefer systematically work to increase the use of different types of water, especially the reuse of purified waste water, in an effort to reduce agriculture’s dependence on the area’s typically dry weather and allow for normal irrigation even during periods of drought.
Throughout the years, KKL-JNF has developed fruitful collaborations with the water associations in different projects, from the establishment of water reservoirs to agricultural tourism initiatives. One of those projects was the Mishmar Hasharon reservoir.
Mishmar Hasharon reservoir is one of the water reservoirs that KKL-JNF built in Emek Hefer. The reservoir, which expands to one million cubic meters, takes in floodwater from the Alexander River. The reservoir holds the water for a number of days until the mud sinks, after which the water is transferred both for irrigation and improvement of waste water collected from additional reservoirs.
Around the reservoir is a beautiful garden with a lawn and flowers that attract butterflies and insects. An accessible path crosses the garden and continues until the observation post named after Larry and Tova Wicker, friends of KKL-JNF from Canada, which is built with their contribution. The Wicker Observatory at Mishmar Hasharon reservoir is a beautiful lookout point, and was built by KKL-JNF as part of its work in the field of bird-watching in Israel.