Wednesday, December 30, 2009

World's Largest Desalinization Plant comes On-line in Israel

The world's largest water desalinization plant has begun operation in Hadera, in Israel. The plant should be able to provide 300 million cubic meters of water every year which is just shy of one third of the water Israel's National Water Carrier currently provides. The new facility will be the cornerstone of Israel's new national water carrier which, rather than relying on natural sources of water such as the Sea of Galilee--already under heavy strain--will rely on desalinized water.

As a first point, it may not be true that this plant is the largest in the world. This article, for example, suggests that the largest water desalinization plant in the world just opened in Saudi Arabia. It's possible that this plant has overshadowed the Saudi one, or perhaps it's a different type of facility. It really is immaterial, but could nonetheless be an error in the original article.

Secondly, though desalinization can have negative environmental effects, this is a project that should be welcomed. Given the extreme damage being done to the sea of Galilee by the large amount of water being withdrawn from it, any small environmental impact in the Mediterranean could be eclipsed by the benefits of reducing pressure on the Sea of Galilee and on the Jordan river and Dead Sea which it feeds.

Thirdly, on a political level, the decrease in pressure on water sources in the east of Israel (sources shared with Palestinians and Jordan) means that there is just that much less to worry about when the time comes to share the resources that exist. Israel's new sources of water, should make it easier for Israel to give more freely of its other sources. This could help to smooth any tension that may exist over water resource allocation. On the Syrian front, this move may be helpful as well. If Israel can really produce a significant amount of its drinking water from desalinization, then Israel becomes that much less dependent on the sources of water in the Golan. It gives Israel greater flexibility on the question of water sources in the Golan. Sources which, at least until now, were very important to Israel.

These, of course, are hypothesis. Hopefully, Israeli decision makers will follow these technical developments on the political level with appropriate action.


Anonymous said...

Nice to see you have water while you are deprieving palestinians and showering them with phosporous.
Israel is nazi lunatic state.

Anonymous said...


Palestinians denied water

Some Palestinians only get 20 litres of water a day, Amnesty says
Israel is denying Palestinians access to even the basic minimum of clean, safe water, Amnesty International says.

In a report, the human rights group says Israeli water restrictions discriminate against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

It says that in Gaza, Israel's blockade has pushed the already ailing water and sewage system to "crisis point".

Israel says the report is flawed and the Palestinians get more water than was agreed under the 1990s peace deal.

'Basic need'

In the 112-page report, Amnesty says that on average Palestinian daily water consumption reaches 70 litres a day, compared with 300 litres for the Israelis.

Israel must end its discriminatory policies, immediately lift all the restrictions it imposes on Palestinians' access to water

Donatella Rovera
Amnesty International

Gaza thirsts as sewage crisis mounts
Water shortages plague West Bank
It says that some Palestinians barely get 20 litres a day - the minimum recommended even in humanitarian emergencies.

While Israeli settlers in the West Bank enjoy lush gardens and swimming pools, Amnesty describes a series of Israeli measures it says are discriminating against Palestinians:

Israel has "entirely appropriated the Palestinians' share of the Jordan river" and uses 80% of a key shared aquifer
West Bank Palestinians are not allowed to drill wells without Israeli permits, which are "often impossible" to obtain
Rainwater harvesting cisterns are "often destroyed by the Israeli army"

Recommended for short-term survival: 20 litres
For the medium term: 70 litres
Recommended for the long term: 100 litres
(Source: WHO)

Israeli soldiers confiscated a water tanker from villagers who were trying to remain in land Israel had declared a "closed military area"
An unnamed Israeli soldier says rooftop Palestinian household water tanks are "good for target practice"
Much of the land cut off by the West Bank barrier is land with good access to a major aquifer
Israeli military operations have damaged Palestinian water infrastructure, including $6m worth during the Cast Lead operation in Gaza last winter
The Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza has "exacerbated what was already a dire situation" by denying many building materials needed for water and sewage projects.

The report also noted that the Palestinian water authorities have been criticised for bad management, quoting one audit that described the sector as in "total chaos".

"Water is a basic need and a right, but for many Palestinians obtaining even poor-quality, subsistence-level quantities of water has become a luxury that they can barely afford," Amnesty's Donatella Rovera said.

"Israel must end its discriminatory policies, immediately lift all the restrictions it imposes on Palestinians' access to water."

Anonymous said...

To the first "Anonymous" (Unsure as to his relation to the second "Anonymous").

The point of the post you attack is that if there is more water available through this desalinization plant, than Israelis will be less dependent on other natural sources and thereby potentially freeing some of these sources for other uses, such as maybe allowing Palestinians a greater use of that ressources. I think that is the point of the post you commented on.

A friend.

Charlie H. Ettinson said...

I am pleased to welcome divergent views on this blog, but you, Mr. or Ms. Anonymous are beyond the pale.

As I have commented on this very blog numerous times if you are going to start throwing around the term nazi in relation to Israel (with "lunatic" added for good measure) I know you are not coming from a place of reasoned debate, but rather somewhere far more sinister. If you really think that refering to Israel the way you did is an argument or is a fair criticism then there's really no point in me having a discussion with you.

Similarly, if you just want to cut and paste snippets from a report which I discussed, at length, here: and you have no comment of your own to add, again, I have no interest in speaking with you.

I should also ask what it is you mean in your first comment when you say "you?" Do you mean me, personally? If so, I'm not Israeli and live in Canada. Tell me, who are you talking to?

As offensive and childish as your comment is, I will let it stand on this site as a testament to the hatred and ignorance that some of those who purport to support Palestinians espouse.

Anonymous said...

To the first "anonymous"

And frankly, calling Israel a "Nazi Lunatic State" adds nothing to the conversation, even detracts from it, and is no more than waste of digital space.

That certain Israeli policies towards Palestinians may be unfair, biased, and discriminatory is one thing, but Nazi?! really? Even if one allows for some artistic licence and calls Israeli actions to be "criminal", the word "Nazi" would still be grossly incorrect and frankly, baffling; Do you know what that word means? Let's start by this: On what continent did the Nazis live? During which century? If you manage to answer these two questions without Googling the answers, then I recommend you read this book before you reply to this comment: "The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945" by Saul Friedlander, HarperCollins, 2007. You will no doubt note the clear differences between Nazis and Israel. The point is, if Israelis were Nazis, then Israel and the rest of the world would not now have a "Palestinian Issue" to try and solve, the problem would have been quite neatly resolved (and buried so to speak) quite a long time ago. However, if you don't wish to read this book (and I highly recommend you do), then try Googling the words: "Final solution" and see what turns up.

As for the word "Lunatic", I find it quite comical actually, but can't help to point out that if in fact it is a "lunatic" state, then you can't really be faulted for any of it's actions, and therefore should be held blameless. But that is another debate, one that has been raging since Aquinas' days. Do you know during which century he lived?

A friend.

PS. Don't worry "anonymous", the writer of this blog will be aghast at my reply and ask me politely to "be nice", as he did on a couple of other occasions when I let my fingers outrun my mind when I read unworthy or substandard (to be polite) comments of the sort you posted.

Anonymous said...


I just saw that the writer of this Blog has outraced me to the fun part!

A friend.