U.S. Water News Online
ASHKELON, Israel -- Israel displayed its best desalination
plant to visiting diplomats, marking International Water Day by
demonstrating how the desert nation keeps from shriveling in the sun.
The plant, at the southern port of Ashkelon, turns 330,000 cubic
meters of Mediterranean seawater into fresh water every day for about
53 cents each -- compared to 80 cents at other plants, according to
an official from the company that built the Israeli facility.
Ezra Barkai, desk manager for IDE technologies, said the plant
uses the common reverse osmosis technology that pushes water through
a series of filters to remove salt, but also streamlines and reuses
energy sources to make the finished product relatively inexpensive.
"Its very impressive," said Zhou Hui, economic and commercial
counselor from the Chinese embassy. "Chinas economy is growing very
quickly, and we need water just as much as fuel or steel. We hope
Israel can show us how to expand our industry without destroying our
environment and natural resources."
Hui said that China was considering spending around $100 million
for a pilot desalination facility that would produce about a third as
much as the one in Ashkelon.
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