The Yarqon River has always served as a water source for irrigating field crops, orchards, and citrus groves and in the past was also used for watering flocks and herds, and driving the flour mills which were constructed along the river. If in the past only the spring water flowed along in the river, since the 1950s the situation has changed both quantitatively and qualitatively.
The upper section, from the Rosh Ha’Ayin springs to the confluence of the Qana River:
- In the past, some 25,000 m3 of spring water per hour, which amount to 220 million m3 per year, flowed in the Yarqon, but nowadays there is no natural water flow because the water table level is lower than the spring’s elevation – a result of excessive pumping from the aquifer. The Yarqon River master plan determines that only fresh water from the local aquifer will be allowed to flow between the springs and the confluence with the Qana River. The Water Commissioners have allocated 200 m3 of fresh water per hour to sustain the fauna and flora in the channel.
The mid-section from the confluence of the Qana River to the Seven Mills:
In the past when wastewater collection systems were constructed and Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs) were built in Kfar Saba and Ramat HaSharon, wastewater, and poor quality effluents were allowed to flow into the Yarqon River. Simultaneously, increased exploitation of the water from the springs led to the inevitable outcome with pollution of the Yarqon River, which in turn created an environmental hazard.
Kfar Saba/Hod HaSharon WWTP: The new plant produces effluents, which are of tertiary quality, and are suitable for use in rehabilitating the Yarqon River.
Ramat HaSharon WWTP: The plant produces effluents whose quality is also on a tertiary level and they are suitable for the Yarqon River rehabilitation.