This week, Israel’s Kishon River Authority hosted a delegation from La Corporación Autónoma Regional (CAR) of the Cundinamarca region of Colombia, which is responsible for managing natural resources and promoting sustainable development.

CAR officials spent three days touring projects with representatives from Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) to learn more about water technology and wastewater management in Israel.

One area of interest was how they might apply lessons from the Kishon to improve the health of the endangered Bogota River.

They learned how a $56.5 million Israeli government project resulted in cleaning up the once highly polluted Kishon River and saw how the authority conserves wildlife habitats in and around the Kishon, and cleans and monitors the river.

The 70-kilometer-long Kishon River – about the same length as the Bogota River — flows into the Mediterranean Sea near Haifa. The Israelis also showed CAR officials how the riverbank was developed into a 148-acre recreational area with educational activities for the public.

“The State of Israel is at the forefront of international water and wastewater treatment,” said Kishon River Authority CEO Sharon Nissim. “Few challenges involve the long-term vision, as well as professional work and resources that were required to rehabilitate the Kishon. The delegates found the Kishon River restoration a good example for Bogota and were impressed by the abilities and knowledge gained by the Kishon River Authority over the years.”

The CAR officials also visited Lake Hula and various water-related KKL-JNF projects and sites. A memorandum of understanding between the two organizations may be coming in the future.