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Research Mission to Israel - Report

August 25 - September 8, 2005

Background

Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation has signed an agreement with the Jewish National Fund of Canada to jointly establish a fund to support research into areas of mutual interest regarding water conservation, effective water management, and irrigation technology.

From September 1-8, 2005, Hon. Lyle Oberg, M.D., led a research mission to Israel, which had the primary purpose of advancing the cooperative research initiative. The mission included representatives of the Alberta Irrigation Projects Association, and the Water Institute for Semi-arid Ecosystems (associated with the University of Lethbridge). Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Leonard Mitzel joined the delegation on behalf of Hon. Guy Boutilier, Minister of Environment.

Itinerary

September 1st - Travel day. 

September 2nd - Breakfast meeting with Government of Israel representative who provided a briefing regarding the Israeli disengagement from the Gaza strip. This was followed by a tour of the Holocaust Museum and the Old City of Jerusalem and a Sabbath dinner.

September 3rd - Reception with local politicians, industry representatives, and representatives of the Jewish National Fund.

September 4th - Inauguration Ceremony for the reconstruction of the Baron's Garden in Rosh Pina in honour of Lois Hole, the late lieutenant governor of Alberta. Visit to the Sapir Center where the National Water Carrier transfers water from the Sea of Galilee into the national water pipeline system with briefings from centre staff. Travel along the Sea of Galilee to the Beit Shean Valley to learn about the country?s reservoir system and the rehabilitation of saline land.

September 5th - Tour and presentation at Shafdan wastewater treatment centre. Visit to outpost near Gaza strip and presentation regarding complex issues regarding the disengagement. Tour and presentations regarding water research, nano-technology, and aquaculture at the Weitzman Institute. Visit to the Besor Research and Development station regarding practical application of recycled and saline water for agriculture.

September 6th - Tour of Mitzpe Ramon crater. View arid landscape and mining area. Visit to Arad Water recycling complex and farming area and tour of the Yatir Winery. Visit to Yatir Forest to see water reservoirs, aquaculture, afforestation projects and discuss aquifer management. Meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres discussing resource management and technological development in Israel.

September 7th - Visit and presentations at Technion in Haifa regarding water management in Israel and Alberta and research capabilities of the Technion.

September 8th - Travel day.

Follow-up

  • Since the mission, a Trust Fund Agreement has been finalized to establish the research fund.
  • A technical advisory committee with members from Alberta and Israel is being set up to advise on projects.