Sustainable Planet: It’s All about Water
Over the past 30 years, the world has witnessed a substantial drop in the availability of potable water. Today, 884 million people worldwide – one in eight – do not have access to a safe water supply. The severe water shortage has forced people to turn to any water source available, including rivers, streams, lakes and wells that are chronically contaminated. As a result, over 2 million people, mostly children, die every year due to polluted water sources.
Now, to boost water research and solutions, TAU has launched the Moshe Mirilashvili Institute for Applied Water Studies. The agreement for the new institute was signed on campus by Michael Mirilashvili and TAU President Joseph Klafter. TAU Rector Yaron Oz moderated the ceremony.
Mr. Mirilashvili noted that the institute was being established in memory of his father, Moshe, and spoke about the importance of water to global society and the contribution of his company, Watergen.
The Institute will support and promote pioneering water treatment technologies for drinking and agricultural purposes. It will also expand international cooperative ties between TAU, national water authorities and leading research institutions around the world, as well as award fellowships to exceptional TAU graduate students.
The Institute will be operated in the framework of the TAU Water Research Center, headed by hydrochemist Prof. Dror Avisar, a world authority on pharmaceutical compounds found in the water supply.
Integrating organic and analytical chemistry methodologies with engineering and mathematical and statistical analyses, Prof. Avisar and colleagues at the Water Research Center have developed several methods for improving water quality and increasing water availability over the past nine years.
Dr. Mirilashvili is a well-known philanthropist, donating to various causes in Israel and Russia, including to the Friends of the IDF, the Moshe Mirilashvili Center for Research on the Holocaust in the Soviet Union at Yad Vashem, ZAKA and other organizations. He serves as President of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress; Vice President of the Russian Jewish Congress and the President of the Maccabi Union in Russia.