The year was 1989, and I remember sitting in my 4th grade class, listening to our homeroom teacher teaching us about the drought in California and the need to conserve water. While the drought subsided a few years later and the water-saving methods we had learned became unnecessary, I would never forget what I really learned that day: every individual has a responsibility to protect the environment, and even the smallest acts can make a difference.
Nearly 30 years later, the global water crisis has grown more severe. One in nine people lack access to safe water and a million people die every year due to water, sanitation and hygiene-related disease. By 2025, the World Health Organization estimates that by 2025 half of the global population will be facing water scarcity.
When my producers and I began working on this project several years ago, we certainly wanted to make a film that spread awareness about the water crisis- Ultimately though, we wanted to focus on solutions to give audiences hope that we can solve this issue.
As we began our research, there was one statistic that truly blew me away: Israel leads the world in wastewater recycling, reusing more than 80% of its wastewater, with the next closest country being Spain at 20%. Following up on this we found that in a country that is mainly desert, and after years of drought in the 1980’s and 90’s, Israel has become a water exporter. Over the course of just a few decades, Israelis developed a unique social consciousness around water conservation that has resulted in homegrown solutions that are now used around the world. This is the kind of transformation we dream of for the global community. When it comes to water, Israelis are incredible role models for how individuals around the world can have an impact.
It is our hope that by sharing the stories and insights of the people in this small country, our film will have an impact on the global water crisis. While Sustainable Nation tells the stories of just a few people working on issues of water scarcity, the film is ultimately meant to teach the same lesson I learned in 4th grade: every individual has a responsibility to protect the environment, and even the smallest actions can make a difference.