Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday sought Israel’s cooperation in enabling recycling of sewerage water in five major cities of the state, with the aim of checking pollution and generating water for irrigation purposes.

The CM held extensive talks in Jerusalem with Israel’s Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Dr Yuval Steinitz, on the issue of water management to boost water conservation in Punjab.

The CM was impressed with the fact that 95 per cent of sewerage water was being recycled for agriculture in Israel and said Punjab would like to do the same in urban areas.

Amarinder apprised the Israeli minister of the problems being faced by Punjab on the waterfront as a result of its depleting water table caused by melting glaciers.

While Punjab was power surplus, water resources remained a challenge for the state, which was trying to get out of the paddy-wheat cycle to save this precious resource, he said.

The minister underlined the need for proper water management through assessment of the total requirement and availability. The CM invited the minister to visit Punjab to further strengthen the cooperation between the two sides.

Addressing a seminar on ‘Investment Opportunities in Punjab’, organised in Tel Aviv by the Embassy of India in collaboration with the Israel- Asia Chamber of Commerce, the CM said that besides offering cheap power and single window clearances, the state has excellent communication and transport linkages to boost ease of business.

With four airports, Punjab is the gateway to the Middle East, the Chief Minister told a galaxy of top-level business honchos at the seminar, at which Invest Punjab made a detailed presentation to showcase the strengths that make the state a favoured business destination for global players.

In response to a question, the CM said his government was focusing in a big way on incentivising solar power projects. Amarinder said his government was looking at installing solar motor pumps in the fields and had already made solar systems compulsory for new buildings.