Mekorot in Action

“Mekorot’s” Waterway For the Development of Life and Greenery in Israel

1935 – Initial water drilling in Israel
At the initiative of Levi Eshkol, who later became “Mekorot’s” first director, this year water drillings were carried out in the Kfar Hasidim and Zevulun Valley region. The drillings carried out as part of the planning of a major irrigation project for the western Jezreel Valley, and executed with the help of engineer Simcha Blass, constituted the first swallow heralding the founding of the Company.



 

1937 – The establishment of the “Mekorot” Company
On January 31st 1937, a “memorandum of association of a company limited in shares” was published, declaring the establishment of “Mekorot”. The memorandum was signed by the Company’s first nine managers, who were representatives of the Jewish Agency, the Jewish National Fund, the Histadrut “Nir” Company and the Agricultural Center.

The memorandum defined the role of the water company that was to be established: “To execute and do all things necessary or appropriate to obtain water, collect, sell, deliver, distribute or invent them”. On February 15th 1937, when it is comprised of six employees and has at its disposal capital estimated at 85 thousand Israeli liras, the Company was duly registered at the offices of the mandate government under the name “Mekorot”.


 

1938 – Inauguration of the Kishon Plant
The Kishon plant is the first water project initiated and established by the young company “Mekorot”. Shortly after obtaining the necessary permits from the mandate government and raising the needed capital, the Company carried out extensive drillings at the Hirbaj Hills near Kfar Hasidim, in the area of Kibbutz Usha and Yagurm where it found large amounts of very good quality water for drinking and irrigation. At the same time the Company established a number of pumping houses near the wells and a central pumping station near Kibbutz Sha'ar Ha’Amakim, and laid a water line 17 km long, transferring water to the western Jezreel Valley communities. The plant’s capacity was estimated at 4 million cubic meters of water per annum, allowing the expansion of the irrigated agricultural areas in the valley, as required in light of the population growth and food shortage felt at the time.

             

 



 




 

1939 – Supplying water to Haifa 
At the end of 1939 the Company grew, bringing to the supply of water to 70% of Haifa’s residents. The growth included the laying of a water pipeline to Ramat David and Gevat, supplying water to Ramat Yishai, connecting the Usha Kibbutz and Kfar Maccabee to the main pipelines and completing the laying of the water line from Kfar Hasidim to Hadar Carmel.

 

1939 – The “Fantasy” Plan
This eventful year is when the vision of the “National Carrier” was born. The initiative began with Dr. Arthur Ruppin, head of the Settlement Department at the Jewish Agency, who approached engineer Simcha Blass and asked him to prepare a “fantasy” plan to irrigate the Negev. Three months later Blass submitted to Ruppin the plan which included three phases: bringing nearby drilling waters, bringing the Yarkon waters and bringing water from the north. The plan began taking shape in pre-state Israel, and was carried out after the establishment of the “Yarkon - Negev” plant and the “National Carrier” that brought water from the Kinneret and the Yarkon springs to the Negev.

             

 



 

 



 

1943 – Discovering water in the drillings in the Nir Am and Gvaram region
During the drilling in the Nir Am region, for the first time water was found in the Negev in quantity and quality justifying the construction of pumping facilities. Following the discovery, four years later the first water plant in the Negev was established (“the First Pipeline to the Negev”), which included a pumping station and a 1,000 cubic meters pool and played an important role in determining the boundaries of the western Negev. The plant provided water to the 11 points in the Negev established following Yom Kippur of 1946.

 

1943 – Plan for the development of the water sources in Israel – the “Water Resources”
In 1941 “Mekorot” asked engineer Simcha Blass to prepare a detailed plan for the development of water resources, based on a memo he wrote on the subject of “Settlement of the Israel Deserts by Drawing Water from Rivers”. After completing the plan, in April 1943, he presented it for the first time to the leaders of “Mekorot” at the time: Levi Eshkol, Eliezer Kaplan and Pinhas Sapir (who was a member of the Jewish Agency and the treasurer). In May 1944 Blass and “Mekorot’s” technical office completed writing the book "The Water Resources in the Land of Israel, Prospects for Irrigation and Hydro-Electric Development”. In the book they presented a detailed plan for the development of all the water sources in Israel. This plan will be the basis for the founding of the first national water plant after the country’s establishment.

             

 



 

 



 

 

1944 – Supplying water to the Beit Shean Valley settlements
In 1944 the Beit She'an Valley settlements signed a Water Supply Agreement with “Mekorot”. Following the agreement, the Company began extensive development of water resources in the region and began to transfer large amounts of water to the agricultural communities in the valley.

           

 

 

 


 

1944 – The Holon water plant
Between 1944 and 1946 “Mekorot” acquired the Holon water plant, which included four water wells and provided water to the city’s neighborhoods: Green, Kiryat Avoda, Agrobank and the Moledet neighborhood. Thus, the Company expanded the water supply for urban use.

 

1947 – The first line to the Negev settlements
This year a pipeline was laid in the northern Negev for transferring drilling water in the Nir Am region, already discovered in 1943. The pipeline, which was originally used for fire-fighting during World War II, was brought over from England and was dubbed “the Champagne Pipeline”, due to its high cost stemming from its thick walls. This pipe, six inches in diameter, stretches over 200 km and facilitated the existence of new and existing communities in the Negev – the Lookout (HaMitzpim) settlements, the Tower and Stockade (Homa UMigdal) settlements and the 11 points in the Negev. The UN Partition Committee was deeply impressed with the flourishing communities in the Negev and agreed to its annexation to the country.

             



 


 

 

1948 – The transfer pipeline to Jerusalem
In 1936 “the First Pipeline to Jerusalem” was established by the British Mandate government. This pipeline, transferring about 4 million cubic meters of water per annum from Rosh Ha’Ain to Jerusalem, suffered over the years of its existence from numerous cases of sabotage on the part of the Arabs. Finally, in the spring of 1948, the Arabs captured the starting point at Rosh Ha’Ain and the Latrun pumping station, dismantled a section of the pipeline in the Latrun area, thus stopping the water supply to Jerusalem. Following the siege and the problem of water supply to the besieged city, Levi Eshkol, who was at that time the “Mekorot” manager and assistant to the Minister of Defense, tasked the Company’s teams with a significant “national mission”: laying a water line to the besieged capital. In a daring and resourceful operation “Mekorot” succeeded in building pumping houses and a pool and laid a water line from Hulda along the Burma Road to Sha’ar HaGai called the “Siloam Line” (the Shiluach line). The line is named after the ancient water plant that saved Jerusalem in the times of King Hezekiah in the First Temple period. All of this has been accomplished when in the background the War of Independence was raging. The construction of the plant lasted about a month and the city’s water supply was resumed on August 11th 1948. At the end of the war Jerusalem was declared the capital of Israel and the “Siloam Line”, which was a temporary solution that did not provide a comprehensive solution for the needs of the developing city, was dismantled and replaced by the “Second Pipeline to Jerusalem”.

 

1948 – The establishment of the subsidiary, HME
HME (Heavy Mechanical Equipment), Development Works Company Ltd., began operations under the name “Mekorot Water” At the beginning it was only a unit inside “Mekorot” responsible for the execution of earthworks and laying water lines for the Company. In 1956, with the development of the water projects, HMC received an official status of a company, and two years later it merged into it the “Mekorot” Drilling Department. HMC’s areas of activity were varied. They included the execution of trenches and wells, laying lines, construction and restoration of wells, the establishment of introduction sites for effluents and more. In 2005, “Mekorot” underwent restructuring, where the Company was merged with EMS and with the construction units of the Company's division into one central execution division – “EMS Mekorot Projects”.

 

1949 – The development acceleration of the water plants
The fifth decade of the 20th century was characterized by a significant expansion in the “Mekorot’s” activity and by acceleration in the development of many water plants throughout the country. Following this development acceleration, the Company supplied in its second decade of operation and one year following the establishment of the state of Israel, 30 million cubic meters of water used for irrigation of about 50 thousand dunams of farmland through the following plants:
• The Kishon Plant – supplying water to the Zevulun Valley, the Haifa Bay, Haifa and the Western Jezreel Valley.
• The Central Jezreel Valley Plant – supplying water to the Genigar region, including Tel Adashim, Afula, Merhavia and Dovrat.
• The Samaria Plant – supplying water to Pardes Hanna, Karkur and Binyamina.
• The Beit Shean Plant – supplying water to the Beit Shean Valley.
• The Holon Plant – supplying water to the city of Holon.
• The South A Plant – supplying water to the Na’an, Hulda, Givat Brenner regions and later to Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Corridor settlements.
• The first water plant in the Negev – supplying water to Beeri, Urim, Tse'elim, Gevulot and Nirim settlements.

 

1950 – The establishment of the subsidiary, EMS
At the end of this year an organizational restructuring was carried out in “Mekorot”. As part of the restructuring it was decided to establish the EMS company, which was responsible for the provision of electrical and mechanical services. The company started out as a mechanical department in “Mekorot”, whose designation was making repairs and assembly work in the Company’s drillings and pumping stations. Following the restructuring, EMS was formally registered as a company in 1961 and began operating independently. As part of EMS’s transformation into an independent company, its responsibilities were expanded to the following areas: maintenance and repair of water, fuel and sewage pumps, manufacturing of electrical equipment, water technologies development, the establishment of automatic control systems to operate “Mekorot’s” water facilities, rain enhancement activity, carrying out work for external entities and more. In 2005 the company was merged with HMC and with the company's district construction units into one operation company – “EMS Mekorot Projects”.

 

1953 – The establishment of the Second Pipeline for Jerusalem
With the development of Jerusalem in the years following the establishment of the State, the demand for water in the city increased. The “Siloam Line”, which was established during the War of Independence, no longer provided adequate response to the needs of the city, and therefore “Mekorot” laid the “Second Pipeline to Jerusalem”, which provided about 10 million cubic meters of water per annum. The pipeline’s route, leaving from the Marar pools near Gadera and then continues to the mountainous regions and to different settlements. It passes near Hulda, Kfar Oriya and Eshta'ol, and is adjacent to the highway from Ramat Raziel to the Ein Karem neighborhood. The pipeline continues and is active to this day. Near the system’s station in Hulda the new Hulda Station is being established these days, which is a part of “Fifth Jerusalem Pipeline” built by “Mekorot” to meet future demand for water in the Judea Mountains region. The “Fifth Jerusalem Pipeline” is expected to begin operating in 2018.

 

1954 – The establishment of the Tkuma reservoir
The reservoir, with a capacity of 200,000 cubic meters, was built as part of the establishment of the East line of the “Yarkon – Negev” plant which opened a year later. In 1989 the Tkuma B reservoir was established, with a volume of 100,000 cubic meters, as part of the “Third Pipeline to the Negev”, established that year. Following an increase in the consumption of the treated Shafdan water (the Dan region’s wastewater), in 1994 the use of these two reservoirs were changes: the first larger reservoir, was converted for transferring the Shafdan waters, and the second smaller reservoir, was converted to transport fresh water.

 

1955 – The inauguration of the “Eastern Yarkon Negev” enterprise
The plant, considered the largest water enterprise built by “Mekorot” in the 1950s, was intended to transfer irrigation water to the arid Negev lands, from the Yarkon springs at Rosh Ha’Ain to Kibbutz Magen in the north-west of the Negev. The enterprise included 1 108 km long 66 inches in diameter water line along 95 km and 48 inches along 13 km, three underground pumping stations, nine marine diesel engines, electric motors, diesel and fuel oil tanks, regulation ponds in a total volume of 350,000 cubic meters and many other related facilities. Its cost of construction was estimated at 45 million Israeli liras. This enterprise fertilizes to this day the Negev and south of the country, and provides drinking and irrigation water to these areas through the national water system.

 

1958 – Connecting the water supply system to Tel Aviv
In 1956 the implementation of the second phase of the “Yarkon – Negev” enterprise began – laying the Western line. Same as the eastern line, the western line left from Rosh Ha’Ain, but unlike it, the line continued to the Bar-Ilan University and then went south along the Geha Road to Rishon Leziyon. Near the Bar Ilan University the western line connected to the Tel Aviv water supply system using a water reservoir 25,000 cubic meters in volume, called “the Arlosoroff Pool”. The connection of the line improved the water quality and increased the supply to the city, which before was based on the local water from wells. During the 1960s another upgrade was carried out on the Tel Aviv water supply, with the connection of the western line to the north of the city, using a pipe transferring water by gravity to the Zahala Pools. In the mid-1960s the construction of another water line – the “Dan line” was completed. The line provided a response to the population growth in Tel Aviv and the south of the country, reinforcing the supply of water, increasing the amount of water flowing south.

 

1959 – The legislation of the Water Law
This year the Israeli Water Law was passed regulating the distribution of water resources in Israel, asserting that they it should be carried out in a fair and efficient manner. The need for this law stemmed from the recognition that water is a means of production and a basic resource whose availability is limited. In accordance with this understanding, the law originally stated that “The water resources in Israel are public property, they are controlled by the state and designated for the people and development of the country ...” and that “Every person is entitled to receive and use water, subject to the provisions of this Law”. Following the enactment of the Water Law, the Israeli Knesset formally recognized “Mekorot” as a water supplier. Later in 1961, the Israeli Knesset declared “Mekorot” the National Water Authority, responsible for the national water enterprise, which is a “National Carrier”, a responsibility which rests on “Mekorot” to this day. It includes the operation of the enterprise, its improvement, maintenance and other operations necessary for the supply of water through it.

 

1961 – Completing the “Eastern Yarkon Negev” line
Upon completion of the laying of the “Western Yarkon Negev” line, the construction of the “Yarkon Negev” enterprise was completed. The line went from the Yarkon Springs and continued south along the Geha highway (which was in advanced planning stages in these days) to the sands of Rishon Leziyon. The line is 66 km long and 70 inches in diameter.

 

1961 – The establishment of the Rain Enhancement Division
Already in 1949, a year after the establishment of the State “Mekorot” began carrying out innovative experiments designed to increase the amount of rainfall over the Kinneret drainage basins. Following this activity, “Mekorot” established in 1961 the rain enhancement division within the framework of EMS. “Mekorot’s” activities over the years in this area received international recognition from the scientific community, and led many countries to contact the company to seek advice in the performance of similar projects.

 

1964 – Completing the construction of the largest development enterprise in Israel – the “National Carrier”
The construction plans of the “Jordan” enterprise that later became the “national carrier”, was approved by the government in 1956. In 1959, construction began, lasting five years. Cost of construction was approximately 420 million Israeli liras and 2.5 million working days were invested in the building process, more than 4,000 workers were employed, about 7 million cubic meters of dirt were excavated, about 1.7 million cubic meters of rock were quarried, about 500 thousand cubic meters of concrete were cast, about 75 thousand tons of steel and 15 thousand concrete and steel pipes were used. It length: about 130 km. Upon activation about 80% of the water transferred therein was directed for agricultural uses and 20% for drinking water. In the early 1990s the “national carrier” provided half of Israel's drinking water, from the north to the outskirts of the Negev. With the construction of the “national carrier”, the national water system was completed.

 

1964/5 – The construction of the “Salty Carrier”
The enterprise collects salty spring water draining to the Kinneret, in order to reduce the level of chlorides (salt content) of the water supplied to the “national carrier”.  The diverting plant, which is approximately 22 km long, runs in parallel to the western shore of the Kinneret. It begins in the Nur Springs (Tabha) and ends south of the mouth of the Kinneret to the Jordan River. In the beginning the plant received saline springs only, but its designation was changed and it currently receives wastewater from the settlements found along it to prevent the pollution of the Kinneret. Initially, the wastewater from Tiberias, Genosar and the resorts situated along the western shore were received. Over the years major contributors were added such as Safed and Migdal. During the 50 years of the plant’s operation prevented the penetration millions of tons of chlorides to the Kinneret waters.

 

1967/8 – The construction of the Nahalei Menashe Plant
“Mekorot” established this year the Menashe Rivers enterprise in the Ramat Menashe region, to take advantage of the water streaming in the Dalia River, the Taninim River (and its tributaries – Swallow River) and the Ada River (and its tributaries – the Barkan River). The plant collects into a shared diverting canal the floodwaters flowing in the streams descending from Ramat Menashe. On the way west the waters of the Mishmarot River “which passes through” are also added. From the diverting canal the water flows thanks to gravity to an underground reservoir in the Caesarea sand, from which the water can be pumped regularly according to local needs and national consumer policies.

 

1969 – The establishment of the Shafdan plant
The Shafdan enterprise (the Dan region’s wastewater) was established to treat wastewater from towns in the Dan region. It is owned by the “Dan Cities Association for Wastewater and Environmental Protection” comprised of seven municipalities, to which other communities are connected to. “Mekorot” is responsible for operating the WTP (wastewater treatment plant), introducing effluent to the groundwater through introduction fields for natural filtration and improving quality, producing the recycled effluent using pumping drillings and supplying water to the Negev settlements, in the quality required for irrigating crops without restriction. In the beginning the plant treated the wastewater from Holon, Bat Yam, south of Tel Aviv - Jaffa and Rishon Leziyon only, and the treatment was carried out in oxidation ponds. With the plant’s expansion and the inclusion of other cities more advanced treatment methods were adopted, requiring far fewer space: activated sludge. The wastewater treated in the Shafdan are treated up to the secondary treatment level , after which the effluents are transferred to “Mekorot’s” recovery system, for a higher level of treatment – tertiary treatment, allowing the recycling of water for unrestricted irrigation of agricultural crops and diverting additional fresh water for urban use. The plant currently serves a population of over than 2 million people. It is considered the largest and most advanced of its kind in the Middle East, and treats about 130 million cubic meters of wastewater per annum. The productive cooperation, lasting for decades, between two public entities – the “Dan Cities Association for Wastewater and Environmental Protection” and “Mekorot” – assured and promises wastewater treatment and effluent efficiently on the most professional level.

 

1969 – First drilling in the Golan Heights
After the Six Day War, “Mekorot” began activities aimed at creating a regular water supply to new Jewish settlement in the Golan Heights. The first step in creating the supply was the establishment of an enterprise that transferred the Kinneret's water to the Heights, passing through the station at the Kursi Junction. In the second stage “Mekorot” carried out local drillings around the Height to find additional water sources for the settlement and agricultural needs in the region.

 

1970 – The inauguration of the “Menashe” Station
The “Manashe” Station is the first pumping station going into operation along the “National Carrier” in order to increase the transmission capacity and flow of water to the south. In the same year the construction of the Rishon Leziyon and the Zohar Junction stations was completed. With them the Mivtahim and Tal-Or stations went into operation, one after the other
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1970 – The development of the biological treatment method using fish
This year “Mekorot” began to develop and implement a biological treatment method, the first of its kind in the world, to improve water quality and safety. This method is based on natural ecological processes and makes use of fish feeding on things such as algae, snails and tiny animals that are found in water thus cleaning them. In accordance with the principle according to which the various pollutants constitute links in the food chain developing in the water, at the top of which are large fish are such as silverfish and large-headed carp fish. These fish feed on algae and animals without polluting the water, thus contributing to improve the water quality of the “National Carrier”. The fish found in reservoirs and water control devices also help in continuously monitoring the sanitary quality of the water supplied for drinking and preventing pollution.

 

1979 – The establishment of the Third Pipeline for Jerusalem
After 26 years from the construction of "Second Pipeline for Jerusalem", “Mekorot” laid the “Third Pipeline for Jerusalem”. The system is designed to meet the increase in water consumption following the expansion of the city. The pipeline, 20 km long and 36 inches in diameter, begins at the Ksalon station in the Judean Hills and continues to this day to provide about 14 million cubic meters a year to Jerusalem and its environs.

 

1984 – The inauguration of the “Kishon Complex” enterprise
The enterprise, established jointly by “Mekorot” and the Jezreel Valley farmers, is designed to convert approximately 20 million cubic meters per year from the “national carrier” waters with treated wastewater (effluent) for the supply of irrigation water, to base the water supply on the water sources in the area, and improve the supply capacity of the regional plant, the Kishon Plant, during peak times. The “Kishon Complex” is now the second largest recovery plant in Israel and recycles the effluents of WTP Haifa and WTP Afula for unrestricted agricultural irrigation in the Jezreel Valley. In addition, the plant receives flood water stored in the Kfar Baruch Lake. Its annual consumption is estimated at 28 million cubic meters.

 

 

   

 

 

 

1986 – The operation of a hydro-electric turbine
This year, the first hydro-electric turbine was operated by “Mekorot” at Kfar Baruch transferring the water of the “national carrier”. The turbine uses the excess water pressure of the carrier for generating electricity totaling 2.5 kWh (kilowatt per hour) per annum of clean energy without any pollution. In 2006 the turbine was transferred from Kfar Baruch to the Kfar Yehoshua station. Currently the turbine generates electricity output of about 4 million kWh/ year, while reducing the cost of water supply to the plant and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, “Mekorot” is contributing to preventing air pollution and protection of the environment for years.

 

1988 – Restructuring in “Mekorot”
As part of the restructuring of “Mekorot”, the company units – Water supply and execution – were combined to three geographic districts: North, Central and South, with boundary changes between the center and north. Each district includes 2-3 water supply units and a construction and maintenance unit. The Jordan District is the only one remaining a functional unit, with no geographical association.

 

1989 – The inauguration of the “Third Pipeline for the Negev” enterprise
The purpose of this project was to move the wastewater treated at the Shafdan as effluents to settlements in the Negev for the irrigation of all types of agricultural crops without sanitary concern for the client. The plant began to operate in a limited format back in 1977, and treated wastewater from the southern Dan region. On November 1989 it became fully activated as an integrated system of pipelines (the main line is about 90 km long and 70 inches in diameter), pumping stations and reservoirs, some of which are designed for storage of recycled water surplus during the winter, in order to increase the amount of water supplied for irrigation during the summer. In the first year of operation the system transferred about 80 million cubic meters of recycled water to the Negev. 17 years after its activation, in 2005, the third pipeline system transferred about 130 million cubic meters of reclaimed water to customers, under an extensive monitoring and control array. Effluent recovery allows diverting more fresh water for urban use and thus allowing “Mekorot” to give a response to the rise in water consumption in Israel.

 

1994 – Connecting Jerusalem to the national water system
For connection to the national system, an additional water system was established in Jerusalem as a backup to the existing systems – the “The Fourth Pipeline for Jerusalem”, 38 km long. The system reinforced and improved the reliability of water supply to the capital. Along the line, four pumping stations were established (Daniel, Latrun, Heller and Sho'eva) as well as 4 pools with a capacity of 5,500 cubic meters each. Furthermore, it was the first to use extensively computerized systems of operations, command and control center. The system still operates today, and provides water to Jerusalem from the national system. The pipeline inauguration ceremony was attended by former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and by Ehud Olmert, the Jerusalem mayor at the time and former Prime Minister. These days “Mekorot” is constructing the “Fifth Pipeline for Jerusalem”, designated to meet the needs of the city and its environs in the next 50 years.

 

1995 – Supplying water to the Jordanian Kingdom
A special appendix discussing water relations and water supply issues was included in the peace agreement signed on October 1994 between Israel and the Jordanian Kingdom. According to the agreement, the State of Israel is committed to providing the Jordanian Kingdom with water from the Degania Dam in an annual amount of 30 million cubic meters, with 20 million cubic meters of water known as the “Jordanian Water”. Jordan transfers them to Israel from the Yarmouk River for pooling in the Kinneret during the winter, while Israel returns them to Jordan in the summer.

 

1997 – Breakthrough in desalination of the Eilat sea water
In its early days Eilat fed off the groundwater of the southern Arava boreholes transported to it in tankers from the north and then pumped through the pipes. In 1965, “Mekorot” and the Electric Company established in the city the first desalination facility using the multi-level breaking evaporation method. The facility was expanded in 1971, and its two parts produced together 7,000 cubic meters of water a day. In 1973 a desalination plant was established in Eilat using the multi-stage refinery method. However, these methods consumed a lot of energy and were found to be unsuitable. Following the success of local desalination experiments using “reverse osmosis” it was decided to change the desalination technique. In 1978 the first desalination plant using this method was activated, desalinating brackish water from the Sabha A boreholes. In 1992, with the increase in the demand for water, another desalination facility using this method was established – Sabha B. the production capacity of the two Sabha facilities reached 36,000 cubic meters of water a day. In light of the fact that the drilling water output is limited, producing water from another source was needed, to meet the water consumption in the region, which is considered Israel’s “resort capital”, and resources were directed toward the desalination of the Red Sea waters. In 1997 “Mekorot” established, in cooperation with local and international entities, the desalination plant using the “reverse osmosis” method – Sabha C. The facility received global attention thanks to its unique approach. Under this approach, the facility desalinates a mix of seawater and concentrate emitted from desalination facilities of brackish water, thus ensuring low cost of the desalination process compared to similar sized facilities in the world. In 2004, the desalination processes were further improvement by adding boron removal element from the product. Here too, “Mekorot” stood at the forefront of technology, being the pioneer to use this method. Today, “Mekorot” provides using seawater and brackish water desalination facilities all of the water consumption in Eilat, in good quality, maximum reliability and high availability.

 

 

             



 

 

 

 

2001 – Determining the Bottom Level of the Kinneret
In the 1980s the bottom level (bottom red line) of the Kinneret was lowered from 212.0 m to 213.0 m. Following several dry winters and the decline in the water level, in April 2001 the Water Commission’s Operations Committee approved lowering the level to an unusual level: 214.30 meters. With the water levels reaching this level, the flow of water to the Jordan was stopped, due to the fact that the Degania Dam threshold was higher than the level of the lake. To enable normal life along the Jordan and the cultivation of agricultural fields in the valley, “Mekorot” pumped water from the Kinneret into Jordan (“the Jordan will turn around”) using a station especially established for this purpose. It was a complex engineering operation which lasted three months until the lower level rose back to 213.0 meters, and the station was dismantled. This year it was also determined that drawing water from Lake Kinneret is not permitted below the level of 215.50 meters. The lowest level measured was in late November 2001: 214.8 meters.

 

2003 – Determining the Upper Level of the Kinneret
Following an especially rainy winter that year and following an update of the measurement of the height of land around the Kinneret, the upper level (upper red line) of the lake was raised from 208.90 m to 208.80 m. The highest Kinneret levels observed over the years: in April 2003, a level of the 208.86 m was measured, which was only 6 cm lower than the upper red line; in April 1992 a level of the 208.91 m was measured, same as the upper red line at the time, at the end of January 1969 a level of the 208.31 m was measured.

 

2004 – The establishment of the WaTech Technological Entrepreneurship Center
The Technological Entrepreneurship Center is an enterprise established at “Mekorot” for the development of the Company’s operational efficiency using new and the most advanced water technologies. Through WaTech “Mekorot” offers joint experiments in its facilities, technological support and analysis and a business platform to various entities worldwide.

 

2004 – Upgrading the reduction of boron content in the Sabha C sea water
This year “Mekorot” upgraded the desalination process at the Sabha C facility in Eilat to improve the quality of desalinated water by reducing the amount of boron. The process, which includes adding means to remove boron from water using sophisticated systems, was patented in 2006 and is affiliated with “Mekorot”. This process improved the quality of wastewater generated in Eilat and effluents used for agriculture, sensitive to boron concentrations in water.

2005 – Implementing the structural change in “Mekorot”
“Mekorot” has undergone a process of streamlining and reorganization in which the company gradually became a group of companies. The Group is “Mekorot Water”, which is wholly owned by the government. The Company today is a parent company for the subsidiaries: “Mekorot Development and Enterprise” – the Group's business arm, and “EMS Mekorot Projects” – the operational arm of the Group.

 

2006 – The execution of international collaboration agreements
As part of its international operations “Mekorot” signed agreements with the giant corporation “Siemens”, the Melbourne and Sydney Australia water companies and more. These agreements focus, among other things, on the research, development and marketing of joint water technologies in the following areas: water quality, desalination, wastewater treatment, wastewater reuse and water safety.

 

2006 – The National Authority certified the Mekorot laboratories
“Mekorot” has a primary lab in the “Eshkol Site” and five regional laboratories for testing various types of water: drinking water, wastewater and sludge (relatively solid wastewater organic materials generated in the wastewater treatment processes). The “Mekorot” labs were certified as “Recognized Laboratories” pursuant to international standards recognized and accepted by the Israel Laboratory Accreditation Authority. The Ministry of Health has granted the recognition after inspecting the laboratories and their work practices. The laboratory certification process is designed to validate the quality and high level of tests conducted by “Mekorot” on water and wastewater in its six laboratories. Every year approximately 71,000 tests are conducted in the laboratories where approximately 271 000 water quality parameters are tested.

 

2007 – The inauguration of the Central Filtration Plant
The “Mekorot Central Filtration Plant” in the “Eshkol Site” is one of the most complex and the largest of its kind in the world, designed to meet the stringent requirements of the Ministry of Health, thus further enhancing the quality of drinking water provided to the people of Israel. Upon the plant’s operation, Israel is found in the first line of western countries in terms of drinking water treatment. The plant’s filtering capacity is about 500 million cubic meters per annum.