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Enough water to refill the Sea

07/03/2019 10:13:51 AM

Jul3

Andrew Blumberg

An innovative new water project will allow Israel to pump desalinated water from the Mediterranean into the Sea of Galilee. The project has major implications beyond meeting Israel’s own water needs. It could potentially alter the face of water diplomacy by enabling Israel to share even more water than it does now with its neighbors, and it could provide a new model for drought-stricken areas around the world to navigate water challenges.

Major technological advances in water desalination and water recycling already meet about half of Israel’s domestic water needs. Approximately 70% of Israel’s drinking water comes from coastal desalination plants. As a result, the amount of water that Israel draws from the Sea of Galilee has dropped dramatically over the past 18 years, down from 513 million cubic meters to 25 million cubic meters, just 5% of what it had been.

Israel currently supplies 55 million cubic meters of water to Jordan. Easing the overall strain on the Sea of Galilee could allow Israel to increase that amount, as well as what it has agreed to share with the Palestinian Authority.

There are some downsides to desalination that need to be managed, including the cost and the brine byproduct. But what Israel is doing to increase water resources is fundamentally changing old assumptions about growth, sustainability and competition for a less scare resource.

Read the full story on the Times of Israel website.

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