Project Wadi Attir

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Late last year, the Negev got a record amount of rain. Over three days in December, 160 mm of rain, nearly 80% of the yearly average, was recorded in the area of the project site.

Normally, this would cause massive erosion on the project site. In fact, this was a common image on the project site before we began our Soil Enhancement Initiative, led by Dr. Stefan Leu of Ben Gurion University of the Negev:

Implementing the soil erosion and water retention system has been a key part of the project’s soil enhancement program, designed and supervised by BGU researcher Stefan Leu and his team. As part of this program, we have been collecting 27 species of desert hardy trees and shrubs in the project’s greenhouse. These are intended to improve soil fertility and increase the carbon content of the soil, hold water in place, sequester nitrogen, and provide shade and protection against the prevailing winds, thereby enriching the biodiversity of the site. To date, some 3,000 trees have been transferred to the 100-acre site, including 360 high-quality olive trees, planted by local high school students last March. All trees have taken well to the transfer, completely transforming the characteristics of the previously barren site. In addition to the immediate visual impact, we are already seeing some other spectacular changes: bird species not previously seen in the vicinity are now visiting in increasing frequency and numbers.

These storms put our water retention and erosion protection systems to the test. But thanks to the efforts of Stefan and his team, the project site literally “held its ground.” The low water-retention earth mounds designed by Stefan and distributed throughout the site, performed well, holding large quantities of water that otherwise would have been lost, and forming large water pools in the open fields.


The pools also attracted waterfowl to the site, where they were able to enjoy the calm after the storm—a very rare sight in this area.

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Latest Updates

May 2017 Update

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PWA Reconstitutes its Board of Directors

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PWA Presented at Israeli President’s Residence

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Staff Spotlight: Um Atia

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Visitor’s Center News

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Ecosystem Restoration Research Presented at European Geosciences Union General Assembly

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PWA Wares Come to Market during Passover Festival!

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Mohammed Alnabari Honored as BGU Distinguished Alumnus

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“Women Wage Peace” at PWA

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New Milking Facility at PWA

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2016 Year End Update

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JNFuture: Volunteer Vacation Visit to PWA

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Before and After: A Reflection in Two Pairs of Photos

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Selected Site Visits

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PWA Hebrew Website Launched

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Magic of the Desert Festival at PWA

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Society for the Protection of Nature Training at PWA

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PWA at the JNF Conference and Expo

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PWA Featured in The Desert and the Cities Sing: Discovering Today’s Israel

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PWA Mourns the Passing of Shimon Peres

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PWA August 2016 Update

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Closing Ceremony of First Ever PWA “Young Ecologist” Summer Camp

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First Day of Eco-Camp at PWA!

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Organic Olive Oil from PWA

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Educational Visits to PWA

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Recent Visitors to PWA

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PWA April 2016 Update

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Dr. Stefan Leu at the Global Land Outlook Writeshop in Amman, Jordan

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Dryland Ecosystem Rehabilitation Progress

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Quality of Life and Local Food Culture Workshop

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Deputy US Ambassador to Israel visits PWA

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Shared Society Programming at PWA

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Recent Visitors to PWA

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Educational Initiatives at PWA

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Be’Atzmi

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JNF Volunteers at PWA

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Mandel Center for Leadership Joint Day of Learning at PWA

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OECD Visit to Project Wadi Attir

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PWA January 2016 Update

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Ministry of Energy Awards Major Grant to Project Wadi Attir

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PWA Launches Student Research Program

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Around the World

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Young Learners at Project Wadi Attir

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Visitors: Society for the Protection of Nature

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Beekeeping at Project Wadi Attir

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Ecosystem Restoration Website Launched

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Ecotourism Festival at Project Wadi Attir

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Visitors to Project Wadi Attir, Fall 2015

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Annual Update, 2015

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An Interview with Safya Morgan: Director of the Indigenous Vegetables Initiative

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Project Wadi Attir In Pictures, Summer 2015

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Minister of Agriculture Visits Project Wadi Attir

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Project Wadi Attir at the Oxford Desert Conference

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Student Service Day at PWA

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Visitor Center, Now Onsite!

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President Reuven Rivlin visits Project Wadi Attir

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Dr. Ben-Eli Honored with Hura Citizenship

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Inaugurating the Agricultural Facilities at Project Wadi Attir

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New Hires at Project Wadi Attir

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Healing Herbs

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Photography Workshop at Wadi Attir

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Project Wadi Attir’s Earth Mounds Beat the Storm

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