Israel Helps with Desalination

Technological cooperation works as Israeli company conducts desalination seminar for Jordanians and PA Arabs in Kibbutz Shefayim.

Elad Benari , | updated: 8:40 AM

Thirty participants from Jordan and the Palestinian Authority completed a week-long seminar on the topic of desalination earlier this month, according to a report posted on the International Desalination & Water Reuse Quarterly industry website on Saturday. The seminar was conducted by IDE Technologies, an Israeli company which is internationally recognized as a pioneer and leader in the delivery of sophisticated water solutions.

Desalination is a process by which undrinkable salt water is filtered to catch the salts and other particles suspended in the fluid, making the water drinkable.

Israel is considered a world leader in water recycling and has advanced in desalination and recycling water in recent years. According to statistics released earlier this year, Israel recycles 70 per cent of its waste water and sewage.

IDE’s desalination seminar was organized in cooperation with the Israeli Water Authority, the Israeli Foreign Ministry, the Middle East Desalination Research Centre and the Centre for International Agricultural Development Cooperation in Israel. It was held in Kibbutz Shefayim in central Israel, and was designed to introduce the participants to modern desalination technologies and to train them in the correct design, operation and maintenance of water desalination plants.

The seminar covered topics in both thermal and seawater reverse-osmosis membrane desalination and offered participants practical instruction regarding the operation and maintenance of large and complex desalination plants. Participants also visited the desalination plant in Ashkelon which IDE designed and built.

A desalination plant was dedicated last May in Hadera. The largest of its kind in the world and the third largest in Israel, the plant uses reverse osmosis technology, which means the sea water does not have to be heated, as is done in larger plants in the world that are less environmentally friendly. The entire process of desalinating the water takes 35 minutes from the time it enters pipelines in the sea.

The mammoth plant covers more than 18 acres and actually is two facilities that can operate independently from each other. Together, they can provide 127 cubic million liters, or 33 million gallons a year.

Another desalination plant was approved by the Israeli government in June and will be constructed south of Tel Aviv by Sorek Desalination Ltd. It is expected to produce 150 million cubic meters of water each year, and the capacity will eventually be upped to 300 million cubic meters a year, making the plant one of the world's largest. The government plans to desalinate 750 million cubic meters per year by 2020.