BOG 2015: Working to Solve the Water Crisis

Tel Aviv University and Mexico join forces to create a center for research of global water issues
01 June 2015
TAU President Joseph Klafter presents Dr. David Korenfeld Federman with a certificate at the inauguration of the Water Research Center Photo: Israel Sun

Water is the basis of prosperity, human health and quality of life, according to Dr. David Korenfeld Federman of Mexico, a prominent expert in the international water sphere, recent recipient of a Tel Aviv University Honorary Doctorate and partner in the newly launched Water Research Center at TAU. Globally, 1.4 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water and in the coming decade water scarcity and contamination will become an even bigger issue as the world's population continues to grow at a rapid pace. The Water Research Center, a joint initiative between TAU and Mexico, will tackle these water issues, as well as water management, through a multidisciplinary academic approach. 


At the inauguration of the Center, Tel Aviv University President Prof. Joseph Klafter said that, "Our ceremony today ushers in a new era for advanced water research, for international scientific outreach and for Israel-Mexico cooperation. I want to stress how proud the University is to play a greater role in exporting Israeli water expertise abroad."


Development of the Water Research Center

Over the past nine years, Tel Aviv University researchers, under the leadership of Prof. Dror Avisar of the Hydrochemistry Laboratory, Lester and Sally Entin Faculty of Humanities, and Dr. Hadas Mamane of the Water-Tech Laboratory, Iby and Aladar Fleischman Faculty of Engineering, have been working to expand the reach of water research at the University. 


The Water Research Center, under their guidance, will provide funding for joint research and workshops on the topics of converting polluted or unusable water to potable water, desalination, wastewater treatment and drinking water  treatment. Prof. Avisar said at the ceremony, "We may have a lack of water resources, but we have the brains and technology to come up with solutions."  


Prof. Dror Avisar, Director of the Water Research Center  Photo: Israel Sun


Important Issue for the Future

Dr. Korenfeld Federman spoke about the need to educate the next generation about the care and use of water and to encourage technological and scientific studies to improve water management models worldwide.  "The problem of water is not the volume or quantity, but its efficient management," he stressed.  Dr. Korenfeld Federman noted Israel's global standing in the water expertise sphere and said he saw Tel Aviv University as an ideal location for the creation of the new center. It will not only help Mexico in confronting its water issues, but will also provide potential solutions to world water problems.


Amb. Jonathan Peled, Jaime Murow and Amb. Benito Andion    Photo: Israel Sun


Mr. Jaime Murow Troice, President of the Mexican Friends of TAU, said, "It was great to have the team of Prof. Klafter, Vice President for Resource Development Amos Elad, Prof. Avisar and Dr. Korenfeld Federman in the creation of this initiative. Water is truly one of the most important issues for the next generation."


The ceremony concluded with the vision of the Water Research Center, presented by Dr. Mamane.  "With this new initiative we believe that Israel can take its rightful place as an international leader in generating new research, knowledge and innovation in the field," she said.


Also present at the ceremony were incoming Mexican Ambassador to Israel, Benito Andión; Israeli Ambassador to Mexico, Jonathan Peled; and members of the Mexican Friends of TAU; as well as three PhD candidates and one research associate in the field of water research from the Porter School of Environmental Studies, who presented their research in the field. 

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