By Susan Lapidus, Executive Director, U.S. – Israel Center on Innovation & Economic Sustainability
Dear Friends of the U.S.-Israel Center,
Israeli science teacher and inventor Amir Yechieli flew to San Diego in January to install new rainwater harvesting systems at two schools in San Diego and one in Encinitas, bringing with him the potential to change how water is viewed and used in Southern California and beyond. The rainwater-harvesting program was piloted by the U.S.-Israel Center (USIC) at UC San Diego’s Rady School of Management. At Pacific Beach Middle School and Franklin Elementary School in City Heights, the collected water will be used to irrigate school gardens. At the Encinitas Union School District’s Farm Lab at the Leichtag Ranch, the rainwater also will be used to flush toilets.
Watch a see a brief video USIC produced of the rain barrel project below:
The installation of the rain barrels in San Diego and Encinitas was covered widely in the local media, with reports appearing on KPBS, NBC, CBS, CW 6, the San Diego Union-Tribune, Univision, KOGO, Beach & Bay Press and San Diego Jewish World, among others. Upon seeing the coverage, several local schools contacted USIC to ask how they could receive rain barrels.
The attention was not surprising given California’s drought. Israel faced a similar drought but it has become water resilient thanks to a cultural shift driven by numerous changes.
Until now, no school in California had utilized Israeli-designed rain barrels to conserve water.
In addition to conserving and re-using water, the rain barrel program features lessons and discussions that encourage young students to change how they think about water and sustainability. Students at Rady School of Management at UC San Diego will work with their professors and with Mr. Yechieli to monitor and measure results from the program.
Please visit the U.S.-Israel Center’s website to learn more about the ways we’re building bridges and engaging students and businesses across the globe, and click here to learn more about the rain barrel program.