The state of California is working with Israeli industrialists, government experts, and academics on advanced water technologies and long-term strategies to lessen the effects of its severe drought.
One example is the $1 billion ocean-water desalination plant Israel’s IDE Technologies is building to provide 50 million gallons of water daily in the San Diego area starting in November.
But that’s just a trickle compared to the flood of joint projects that could get flowing in the coming dry years.
Israel’s population is 8.3 million, while California’s is 38.8 million. Yet California can implement many aspects of Israel’s holistic approach combining education, technology, and water management, says Yossi Yaacoby, director of the WaTech innovation center for Mekorot, Israel’s national water-management consortium.
“We have so much we can contribute to the discussion. There are several steps we can take together to overcome the lengthening cycles drought we are expecting,” Yaacoby tells ISRAEL21c.
Mekorot works with subsidiaries to introduce Israeli solutions for desalination, water reclamation, water project engineering, water safety and water quality in many other countries.
Decades of innovative measures have succeeded in making Israel completely water-independent since 2014 despite little rainfall that year, reveals Yaacoby, who chairs Israel’s biannual Water Technology and Environment Control (WATEC) exhibition.
The October WATEC conference will devote a major session to exploring Israeli cooperation with California, which has been in an official state of drought emergency since January last year.
Yoram Cohen, an Israeli professor at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, will moderate the panel of California- and Israel-based experts. IDE Technologies CEO Avshalom Felber has been invited to participate.
Last March Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and California Governor Jerry Brown signed an agreement for Israel to assist California in its effort to fight drought conditions.
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