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Critical water source secured for southern Israel’s revival

As the earth marks World Water Day, Jewish National Fund-USA's newest water reservoir is ready to support returning Israeli evacuees.

Jewish National Fund-USA has created hundreds of water reservoirs in Israel. Credit: Courtesy of JNF-USA.
Jewish National Fund-USA has created hundreds of water reservoirs in Israel. Credit: Courtesy of JNF-USA.

As the world marks World Water Day on March 22, thousands of displaced residents returning to Israel’s Gaza border communities will benefit from a recently completed 14-million-cubic-foot water reservoir made possible by Jewish National Fund-USA and its generous partners (donors), including Alan Cohen, Bob Lembke, Howard Mannasse, the Estate of Gladys Shakur and the Joan C Barch Revocable Trust Estate.

The new Holit Reservoir is a beacon of hope and renewal for agricultural prosperity in the Israel Envelope. Bringing relief to one of the driest regions on earth, the reservoir’s completion is a crucial step in addressing water scarcity challenges faced by Israeli farmers in one of the country’s largest agricultural areas.

In the wake of extreme weather conditions and the fallout from the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks, farmers were met with empty pipes and a lack of workers, exacerbating the crisis and leading to a rise in prices of fruits and vegetables across the country. With the inauguration of the Holit Reservoir, such crises are hoped to be averted in the future.

Water plays a critical role in Jewish National Fund-USA’s efforts to make the desert bloom. Credit: Courtesy of JNF-USA.

With 18,000 residents and a rapidly growing community, Eshkol eagerly anticipates the positive impact of the reservoir. The first stage of bringing the water reservoir online will see it filled with 7 million cubic feet of water, benefiting approximately 3,000 people across six communities. Subsequent stages will extend these benefits to even more residents in the region.

The reservoir, strategically located next to a wastewater treatment plant, will play a pivotal role in supporting the region’s agriculture and ensuring Israel remains the No. 1 country in the world for water recycling.

This latest initiative is just one example of Jewish National Fund-USA’s decades-long, multi-billion-dollar commitment to the land and people of Israel, especially those living in the country’s frontier regions. The organization continues to provide for the immediate and long-term needs of Israeli communities living in the Negev and Galilee and is actively rolling out new medical centers, community facilities, resilience centers, search-and-rescue stations, schools, playgrounds and parks.

For more information, visit: jnf.org/water or email Tali Tzour at: ttzour@jnf.org.

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Jewish National Fund-USA builds a strong, vibrant future for the land and people of Israel through bold initiatives and Zionist education. As a leading philanthropic movement, the organization supports critical environmental and nation-building activities in Israel’s north and south as it develops new communities in the Negev and Galilee, connects the next generation to Israel, and creates infrastructure and programs that support ecology, people with disabilities, and heritage site preservation, all while running a fully accredited study abroad experience through its Alexander Muss High School in Israel.
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