Just how much rain has fallen in Israel this week? A lot, to be sure. To find out exactly how much, you can surf to a website which offers information on exactly how much precipitation has fallen in the past hour, day, week, or for the entire year — and now, if Israelis happen to have a web-connected rain monitor, they can upload data as well.
The site, developed by the Water Authority and a company called Agrolan, has data from more than 70 “rain stations.” Now, Agrolan is accepting input from anyone in Israel who uses a rain monitor, for sale on the company’s website, to record the amount of rain that has fallen in their community.
Agrolan, which imports weather and water measuring equipment, set up the rain.org.il site a year ago in conjunction with Google. The site displays data uploaded from mini-weather stations that gather information (updated hourly) about wind, rain, dew, sun, temperature, and humidity at over 70 locations in the country. The site was designed with farmers in mind, giving them solid data with which to plan their planting, watering, and harvesting — Agrolan develops seven-day weather farming forecasts based on the data — but the site has become popular with many non-farmers as well.
Now, the company will be offering new rain-measuring equipment, which will allow a major increase in the number of monitoring stations. The measuring device has wifi connectivity capabilities, so when it is in the range of a network, the device can automatically upload information on how much rain is in its special measuring compartment — giving an accurate, hour-by-hour picture of precipitation in any location in Israel. The new measurement data will be useful for Israelis who live in non-farming communities, too, a company spokesperson said; it can help them plan water usage for their gardens, or just let them satisfy their curiosity about how much rain their town got in the latest storm.
The new equipment will be on display at Arava Open Day (actually two days) at the end of January. Billing itself as Israel’s largest agritech show, Arava Open Day will feature conferences and presentations by companies in the fields of water purification and desalination, farming equipment and technology, pest control technology, seed development and hybridization, and more. In all, over 250 companies, mostly Israeli, will be exhibiting at the 22nd edition of the show, which last year attracted over 30,000 visitors from Israel and abroad.
The event, which will show off the latest in Israeli agriculture and water technology, is being held at a site where agricultural innovation is a watchword — Yair Farm, which is located in the deep Arava, and was the experimentation station for many of the hardy fruits, vegetables, and crops that are now grown. Far from being a stodgy show just for professionals, Arava Open Day has something for everyone (entrance is free), including a farmer’s market, kids’ activities, and gala evening concerts from top Israeli stars, including Dani Sanderson, Riki Gal, Yehudit Ravitz, Ohad Banai, and others.
“There’s no other place like it,” brag the event’s organizers on its website — and as a celebration of Israeli achievements in the field of agritech, they’re probably right.