EPA and the Israeli Ministry of National Infrastructures signed an agreement to work together to improve water supply system security in the U.S. and Israel. Joint projects could include work on contamination warning systems, conducting field-testing of sensor technologies, water supply risk assessment and management, and emergency response.
"Safeguarding our water supply is vital both for the well being of our citizens and the preservation of our environment," said Judith E. Ayres, assistant administrator for International Affairs. "The statement of intent we have signed will foster greater collaboration between our nations to help protect this precious resource from unintentional or intentional contamination."
The Ministry of National Infrastructures has responsibility for land, water, and energy infrastructure development and administration in Israel. The ministry also sponsors extensive research into energy resources and water desalination. EPA and the Israeli government have enjoyed a strong working relationship on environmental protection since 1991. Both nations are members of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles and the NATO Mediterranean Dialogue initiative.
EPA also collaborates with other Middle Eastern countries on environmental projects, such as the Middle East Partnership Initiative, that includes Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia. This partnership involves training on environmental laws and enforcement, conducting environmental impact assessments, and pollution prevention.