Financing approved for desalination plant

Israel’s Finance Ministry has approved funding for the construction of what is expected to be the second largest water desalination plant in the world.

The plant, which is being constructed in Sorek in central Israel, is scheduled to be completed in 2013 at a cost of $400 million. It will desalinate about 150 cubic meters of water per year, or about 20 percent of the water used by households in Israel.

Three desalination plants are operating currently in Israel. Once the Sorek plant is operational, some 65 percent of Israelis’ household water needs will be supplied by desalinated water.

The plant “places the State of Israel — once again — at the global forefront in terms of water economics, and represents an important and essential step to basing Israel’s water sector on the principles of sustainable development,” said Oded Fixler, acting director general of the Water Authority. — jta