Ngati Kahungunu is looking to Israel for the latest water innovations and technologies.
Israel is widely regarded as a leader in water technology, a country where a lot is to be learned on how to make the most of the world's most valuable resource.

Currently it has technology that enables 85 per cent of its waste water to be reused for irrigating crops.

An example that should be followed here believes Jonathan Dick, Director of Environment and Natural Resources at Ngati Kahugunu Iwi Inc.

"We need to deal with the impacts of intensive farming on our fresh water by implementing the recommendations of the Land and Water Forum. Keeping all farm stock out of the fresh water bodies is a good start," Dick said.


He attended the Watec (Water and Water Technology & Environment Control Exhibition & Conference) in Tel Aviv last month.

The conference attracted international ministers and public servants alike to learn how Israel hasn't let the well run dry.

"In New Zealand we need to stop wasting water both in urban and rural areas and stop treating water like a drain for wastewater discharges," says Dick.

He says a step in the right direction to New Zealand's water pollution issues lays with the Government and that a polluter pays system should be enforced.

"The government needs to get serious about requiring the regional councils to implement high-quality water limits and set high quality limits for discharges into the water."

The star of the conference was Israel's lead on desalination of seawater - turning salt water into drinking water.

It has a five-year plan to have 75 per cent of the country's drinking water come from salt water.

Dick says we should be treating water as a national taonga (treasure) and reminds us that the Israelis believe the solution to water issues doesn't lie in big irrigation schemes, but rather in making the most of it by better minimising the wastage of it in water management.