BE’ER SHEVA, ISRAEL (WAFB) - On Monday, members of the Project Star Delegation signed an agreement that could lead to major research developments in Louisiana’s constant battle with flooding and erosion.
The governor and representatives of the Water Institute of the Gulf Coast signed a memorandum of understanding with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel to share information and collaborate on water study. Ben-Gurion is considered a global authority in research and development, and both Louisiana and Israel have experience with water issues.
“In theory, we are completely different. Typically, Louisiana suffers from excess of water and floods. We are suffering from lack of water and scarcity,” said Professor Noam Weisbrod, director of Water Research at BGU.
But Weisbrod says studying the two opposite problems can actually lead to similar, mutually beneficial solutions. That’s why the state is partnering with the university to conduct science that’s driven by necessity.
“If we don’t do something, we’re not going to survive for the future. That has advanced science in Louisiana and Israel, and I think that gives us opportunities where we can find synergies to work together,” said Alyssa Dausman, vice president for science at the Water Institute.
In Louisiana, that collaboration could lead to cleaner water, tighter pipes, and smoother drainage. That means less flooding and fewer health concerns for residents.
“The more advanced our science is, the more advanced our technology is, the more resilient our communities will be, the better prepared we will be for the next storm. It’s going to take the best available minds to keep us safe,” said Justin Ehrenwerth, president of the Water Institute.
Specific plans for the partnership are still in the works, but it’s another first step on a busy trip overseas that could have a real impact on Louisianans.
The delegation also visited Monday with Netafim, an Israeli company that revolutionized farming in the Middle East with a special type of irrigation system. On Tuesday, the group will travel to historic sites in northern Israel.