Environmental quality data - a new study by the CBS: Emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) increased from about 6 tons per capita in the 80s to about 10 tons per capita in 2004 * Emissions of nitrogen oxides from gasoline-powered vehicles decreased by 30 % in the years 2004-2000 and emissions from diesel powered vehicles decreased by 20% in the period
New publication: Environmental quality data in Israel
These days the Central Bureau of Statistics is issuing an international publication containing a collection of environmental quality data compiled in recent years by the Environmental Quality Statistics Branch. The collection includes new and old data on the topics of species diversity and land use, air quality, water, waste and sustainable development indicators.
Below is a selection of the information presented in this publication:
A variety of species and land uses
In 2002, the number of protected areas in Israel was 427 and their area was 4,100 square kilometers (19% of the total area of the State of Israel, mainly in the south of the country). Most of the protected areas were nature reserves (about 3,800 square kilometers) and a minority (about 300 square kilometers) were national parks. Of the 210 nature reserves in Israel, 8 are marine reserves and the rest are terrestrial reserves.
The variety of species
The number of extinct vertebrate species in Israel (since the beginning of the 20th century) increased from 15 to 30 from 1987 to 2002, of which 5 species of fish and 3 species of birds (in addition, 11 species of birds were extinct as nesters). The number of endangered species increased from 90 in 1975 to 146 in 2002.
The amount of emissions from burning the most polluting fuels has decreased in the last five years.
The amount of emissions of carbon monoxide (CO) from vehicles constitutes about 97% of the total emissions from burning fuels. Total annual carbon monoxide emissions fell from 350,000 to 280,000 tons between 2000 and 2004.
The amount of emissions of sulfur oxides (SOX) decreased between the years 2000 and 2004. Most of these emissions come from industry (97%) and mainly from electricity production.
During the same period, the amount of emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOX) also decreased, with emissions from industry constituting
60% of these total emissions. At the same time, monitoring stations, which measure concentrations of pollutants in the air, reported a decrease in the number of deviations from the standard of nitrogen oxides.
Between 2000 and 2004, the number of gasoline-powered vehicles increased by 7%, despite this, nitrogen oxide emissions from these vehicles decreased by 30%. During the same period, nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel-powered vehicles decreased by 20%, despite a 37% increase in their number. These decreases are mainly due to technological improvements in vehicle engines.
The emissions of diesel powered vehicles make up 65% of the total emissions of nitrogen oxides from vehicles. The main contributors to nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel-powered vehicles are: trucks (65%), buses (20%) and taxis and minibuses (10%).
The annual amount of precipitation between the years 2004/5-1989/90 ranges from 3.1 billion cubic meters in the 1998/99 season
to 11.3 billion cubic meters in the 1991/92 season. The average for these years is 6.23 billion cubic meters.
Lake Kinneret provides 30% of the country's annual water supply. Starting in 1965, the salinity of the Sea of Galilee decreased thanks to the construction of the salt carrier (a canal that diverted the sources of salty water from the Sea of Galilee), from 400-350 milligrams of chloride per liter in the 60s to 250-200 milligrams of chloride per liter in recent years.
70% of the fresh water supply in Israel comes from groundwater, mainly from two central aquifers, the mountain aquifer and the coastal aquifer.
Most of the water consumption in Israel is for agriculture. The main change in water consumption in Israel is manifested in an increase in consumption for domestic use (from 25% in 1986 to 37% in 2003) and a decrease in consumption for agriculture (from 68% in 1986 to 56% in 2003). Water consumption for industry has remained stable over the years (7%).
Stream water quality
Most of Israel's streams have been polluted over the years and are still polluted with untreated municipal and industrial waste water which makes them unfit for human use and destroys their natural environment. In 2004, the highest average salinity was measured in Nahal Kishon (9,943 milligrams of chloride per liter), and the lowest in Nahal Sorek (392 milligrams of chloride per liter). In the same year, the highest chemical oxygen consumption was measured in Nahal Hadera (202 mg of oxygen per liter) and the lowest in Nahal Dalia (55 mg of oxygen per liter). The recommended value for effluent water (treated wastewater) is up to 100 mg of oxygen per liter.
Wastewater and sewage
In Israel, approximately 400 million cubic meters of raw sewage are treated annually, 30% of which is in Shapadan (Dan Block Wastewater Reclamation Plant). The quality of the water in Shapadan is high with salinity values of about 300 milligrams of chloride per liter. The organic load in Israel's municipal wastewater is much higher than in the Western world.
In 2004, the amount of household waste per day was 1.6 kg per person at the national level (in the Tel Aviv district the amount reached 2 kg per person). The recycling percentage of all household waste has increased since 1998, and in 2003 stood at 20%. The main recycled materials are organic matter (32%), metal (27%), paper (13%) and plastic (5%).
Since 1997, the amount of hazardous waste evacuated to Ramat Hovav has increased significantly, and in 2004 it stood at
About 100,000 tons. The main treatment methods for the waste evacuated to Ramat Hovav are: Landfilling (40%) and burning (30%).
Sustainable development indicators
The term sustainable development refers to development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. This refers to development that does not harm the resource base on which it rests. The indicators measure environmental, social and economic trends in light of the principles of sustainable development.
Population density in the coastal area
The population density in the coastal area of the Mediterranean Sea was in 2003 - 3,875.2 people per square meter compared to 294.3 people per square meter for the country as a whole. 26% of the population in Israel lives in the coastal area, which is 2% of the country's surface.
The proportion of the population living in urban centers (cities over 50,000 inhabitants) has been 50% for the past 30 years.
The planted forest area in Israel increased from 300 square kilometers in 1960 to one million square kilometers in 2003. The main trend in forestry in Israel is a decrease in the planting of coniferous trees in the forests in recent years, and an increase in the planting of trees that are more adapted to the environmental conditions in Israel.
Carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) per capita
Per capita emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) increased significantly from the 80s to the mid-90s, and since then the amount of emissions has stabilized. The main cause of carbon dioxide emissions is energy production, where in 2004 its share was about 60% of the total emissions. The share of the transportation and production sectors in total emissions is 30% and 10%, respectively.
The salinity of the coastal aquifer water has increased over the years due to over-pumping causing seawater infiltration, saltwater infiltration below the aquifer, human activity above the aquifer (irrigation with Kinneret water, irrigation with effluent, discharge of untreated wastewater, use of fertilizers in agriculture, introduction of excess Kinneret water into the aquifer). This increase in salinity may harm the usability of the aquifer in the future.
Salinity and coastal aquifer level
Number of private passenger cars per 1,000 people
The number of private cars per 1,000 people in Israel increased from 6 in 1951 to 228 in 2004. The level of motoring in Israel is still low compared to Western European countries where it stands at about 500 per 1,000 people.
Energy consumption per capita
Per capita energy consumption in Israel is 3.04 Shatan (equivalent to a ton of oil) in 2003. Since the beginning of the 90s there has been a significant increase in per capita energy consumption in Israel, and since the beginning of the 2000s there has been a stabilization in per capita energy consumption in Israel.
Energy consumption per capita in Israel
Human Development Index (HDI)
An index that weights a score for a country based on three dimensions, economic (GDP per capita), health (life expectancy), education (literacy rate and the rate enrolled in study frameworks at the various levels). A score in this index can range from 0 to 1. Israel is placed 23rd in the world in the index with a score of 0.915. The most prominent element in Israel's score is the high life expectancy (79.7 years), while the GDP per capita is relatively low compared to other developed Western countries.