A delegation of Israeli water experts led by Jewish National Fund head Efi Stenzler and Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon brought back a cooperation agreement with the Canadian province of Manitoba late last week. Manitoba, with over 100,000 lakes, stands among the best at water conservation in the world.
After hearing from the 11-man Israeli delegation at an international conference on water and conservation which they hosted, Manitoba Water Stewardship Minister Christine Melnick announced that she would be sending the province's experts to teach Israel about conservation. In return, Israeli experts would teach their Manitoban counterparts how to purify polluted water.
The delegation also snagged a boon for Israel's universities. Melnick budgeted $250,000 a year in scholarships to bring Manitoban students to Israel to study water engineering and water purification. An international youth movement will be set up to champion water conservation as well.
"These important new scholarships will support scholarly development in a range of areas including nanotechnology, water conservation and water reuse," Melnick said. "Today's students are tomorrow's leading voices on water protection and these scholarships will give our young people a unique international experience as they complete their studies."
Dr. Sharon Marcovitz-Hart, national president of the JNF of Canada, added, "Israel and Manitoba share common water challenges and have a shared commitment to take action to improve the health of our lakes and rivers. The new scholarship program will build on our mutual commitment to make effective use of the best available strategies to protect our water.
"Partnership was one of the founding principles of the Jewish National Fund in 1901. Our research and cooperative initiatives with the people of Manitoba will not only create solutions to critical environmental challenges but will also ensure a secure future for our children," Marcovitz-Hart said.
Well done Manitobans.