“All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again.” (Ecclesiastes 1:7)
A Word from the Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo, Chairman of the Yarkon River Authority Council
This description of the cyclical nature of water’s movement is still accurate 3,000 years after the days of King Solomon. However, he could not have imagined the technological developments human society would lead. Even “the wisest of men ” could not have anticipated phenomena such as accelerated urbanization; the building of advanced water and sewage systems; mass consumption; climate change and surely not foresee the effects of these rivers going to the sea.
The Yarkon River is an example of these effects. Past use of the river’s waters to irrigate the Negev and the discharge of sewage from the crowded urban area that has grown around it, had made the Yarkon an environmental hazard. Today, following an effort of over fifteen years, we are very close to completing the “Yarkon Redemption” project. We have achieved a dramatic improvement in the quality of its flowing water and brought the river back to life. The Yarkon is no longer a polluted “back yard”, but a green lung, a vibrant place of recreation and leisure which serves the metropoline’s residents.
But our mission is far from over, the river’s drainage basin is wide and “at the mercy” of different municipal, administrative and statutory bodies as well as stakeholders such as farmers, factories etc. And with many factors, come many interests. Every event in the drainage basin- affects the river. We will soon need to deal with an expected growth in population, accelerated construction and a growing need in treating the excess sewage. This along with the effects of climate change on rainfall, sea levels and so on. It is under these complex circumstances that the Yarkon River Authority must promote the issues under its responsibility.
Together we will all continue to work for a thriving river; to monitor and look after its riverbanks; to promote plans and execute projects for the wellbeing of the public and the environment. Because we only have one Yarkon!