The statutory framework under which the the department operates is enshrined in two main legislative items: the Drainage and Flood Control Law, 5717-1957 and the Flooding and Soil Erosion Ordinance (Prevention), 1941.
Under this statutory framework, the department operates as the Minister of Agriculture’s professional arm, to preserve the quantity and quality of the agricultural land resource and to prevent flood damage in the rural space.
The department pursues its role through: forming policy, development of knowledge, disseminating and assimilating it, and providing professional and financial assistance to farmers and to the drainage authorities.
In a strategic process completed in 2017, the department formed a vision, mission and strategic principles of operation as presented below:
The department vision
• Working to safeguard the values of the fertile land as a critical production natural resource essential for the supply of fresh, high-quality food;
• Working, together with the basin authorities, to manage the runoff to minimize flood damage while safeguarding the environment;
• Serving as a leading partner in advancing agriculture in Israel as advanced, profitable agriculture preserving the natural and environmental resources for future generations;
• Serving as a center for the development, dissemination and assimilation of knowledge in its areas of responsibility, and as a partner assisting farmers in their decision-making within the agricultural farm in these areas.
The department mission
The department is charged with conserving the agricultural lands and on sustainable runoff management in Israel. It operates through:
• Forming policy and professional doctrine;
• Raising awareness of the importance of safeguarding the soil resource;
• Research and development of interfaces and solutions;
• Assimilation of knowledge and training;
• Financial assistance;
• Supervision and control;
Strategic principles of operation
• Prevention - preferring solutions which prevent the creation of the problems rather than coping with individual events after they have occurred;
• Multidimensional approach - preferring solutions which address multiple public interests rather than narrow interests (long-range catchment-wide management, stressing environmental aspects);
• Professionalism - the government’s (the department’s) role is to serve as a center for development and assimilation of knowledge, rather than restricting itself to supervision and control;
• Empowerment of regional field entities - an approach regarding the regional entities - the Ministry’s districts, the drainage authorities, the farmers, local communities - are primary factors in the formation and assimilation of the professional concept;
• Cooperation - deepening and broadening the cooperation with all stakeholders: government ministries, NGO’s, JNF, farmers and any other relevant entity;