Israel was not blessed by plenty of rain. 600-800 milimeters of rain per year in the center and north, 0-300 milimeters in the desert, which constitutes half of the country. As the population grows, and since the government does not build desalination facilities, we have less and less water. If things continue this way, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be solved in few years, with everyone dehydrated. But this is not my point.

Last year, instead of investing in desalination facilities, through TV ads, street ads and increased taxes on water consumption, the government called everyone to save money because the country dehydrates. The program was a success and people did save water.

Ad from last year

This year weather forecasters warned us in October that we face another dry winter, and so we should continue to save water. When my significant other told me about it, I replied that I do not believe in this forecast: the forecasters can check whether there are clouds over the Mediterranean sea, thereby forecasting whether we will have rain in three days. But forecasting weather a couple of months in advance seems to much for me. The winter may be dry but it may be wet as well. Luckily for me, winter turned out to be a standard one: we do have rains, not too much, not too little. About average.

Yesterday on my way back home, while rain was dripping, I saw a street ad saying “We face another dry winter”. And I thought, why do the  save-our-water-ministry chose this line of advertising? The public is generally stupid, but eventually people will realize that the government always uses the no-water threat and they will learn to ignore these advertisements. So why use it when you do not know whether the year will be rainy or not? In a repeated game with incomplete information where the state of nature changes over time and the other player moves before you, if the other player uses a strategy that is good only for one state of nature, call this state So, you eventually realize that either he does not know the state of nature, or he tries to make you think that the state of nature is So, even when it is not. In any case, you will play as if the other player does not know the state of nature.

But there are more fundamental questions that should bother me about the save-our-water ministry, like why don’t they build desalination facilities to supply the needs of our growing population. And building these facilities can attract votes. So why don’t they build them?