Israel’s Mediterranean Desalination Plants Shift Regional Water Balance

2016-04-Israel-BWalton_IMG_3855-2500TEL AVIV, Israel — The water that flows into Sorek desalination plant is drawn from near the Mediterranean Sea floor. Pumped inland, the water is cleansed, step by step, of salts and impurities. The transmutation does not take long. Forty minutes after entering the facility, the stuff of sailboats and sunbathers is now drinkable.

Sorek is the newest of five Israeli coastal desalination plants. A national mission in the last decade to develop the fleet, plus many more years of investment in wastewater recycling facilities, have turned Israel into as much a water producer as a water consumer. Nearly half of the country’s water supply is now manufactured, either by desalting the Mediterranean or purifying urban sewage. MORE