WATERFORD (WWJ) – What can the tiny nation of Israel teach the “Great Lakes” state about fresh water?  The answer is… a lot.

Because the scarcity of fresh water in the region, Israel has become a world leader in water management and delivery systems — technologies that are being put to use on an aging water system right here in southeastern Michigan.

John McCulloch, Oakland County’s Water Resources Commissioner, is attending an international water technology conference in Tel Aviv, Israel this week.

“Certainly the distance is great but the opportunities are also great here. This is where it’s happening and that’s why we’re taking advantage of it, and not only bringing the technology back to the State of Michigan but the jobs and the business growth as well,” said McCulloch.

One example of that technology is the use of “pressure sensors” that can detect water system leaks before a catastrophic event occurs.

“They are able through pressure deviation to identify these leaks, so operators of the system can go in before it becomes a major problem and fix those. We brought that technology back and actually installed it in the Farmington Hills system to validate that it does work effectively,” said McCulloch.

McCulloch said his goals on this trip to Tel Aviv are two-fold — to bring jobs back to Michigan and to find ways to improve an aging water system back home.

“Most of our infrastructure, whether it be drinking water, waste water or storm water, all was put into place typically more than 60 years ago, so we’re looking at innovative ways to refurbish it or extend its life through the use of technology,” said McCulloch.

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