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    'Israel to have water surplus within decade'
    National water company predicts that increase desalination will create substantial surplus of water within eight years

    Israel may face a happy predicament within a decade – a water surplus. Mekorot, the national water company, said Wednesday that the increased desalination of seawater will eventually enable Israel to rehabilitate all of its fresh water reservoirs.


    The heads of Mekorot briefed the Knesset's Economics Committee on the situation of Israel's water market, in a meeting marking the company's 75th anniversary.


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    Currently, Israel is missing 2B cubic meters of water, but Mekorot's data suggests that by 2013, 75% of Israeli households would be using desalinated water.


    Israel has six desalination facilities, which produce 600 million cubic meters of water a year.


    Existing fresh water reservoirs would remain a pivotal source for the water market and stand to enjoy the reduced production, the company said; adding that reduced pumping would also help rehabilitate the Coastal Aquifer – one of the most important sources of groundwater in Israel.


    Mekorot also said that one of its long-term goals is to create a second, desalinated water-designated carrier to funnel the water, which are currently used mostly for irrigation.


    Israel's agricultural irrigation is slated to be based completely on desalinated and brackish water by 2030.


    Mekorot Chairman Alex Wiznitzer added that the company was also exploring the possibility of building its own power plant, adjacent to the desalination facility in Ashdod.


    Mekorot stands to receive government funds amounting to NIS 6 billion (roughly $1.61 billion) over the next five years in favor of its desalination projects.



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