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Salty and Sea Water

Salty and Sea Water
“Mekorot’s” desalinated water circles encompass the entire country; thus for example, in the southernmost city, Eilat. In 1997 Mekorot established the first facility in Israel for seawater desalination using “reverse osmosis” technology. The facility, Sabha C, received global attention thanks to the unique method of operation implemented therein. Under this method the facility desalinates a mix of seawater and concentrate from the desalination facilities of brackish water, thus ensuring the low cost of the desalination process compared to similar sized facilities in the world. Mekorot stood at the forefront of technology and pioneered the water desalination in Eilat thanks to the development of advanced means to remove a chemical element (boron) from the process, to prevent damage to crops. The development, the use of which has been expanded to additional desalination facilities worldwide and patented by Mekorot, enabled the further improvement of the process. Today Mekorot provides Eilat’s entire water consumption via three desalination facilities operating using the “reverse osmosis” technology. This means a water supply of approximately 55,000 cubic meters a day, to about 100,000 people – tourists and residents alike. The quality water supplied by Mekorot with maximum reliability and with high availability, contributes to the further development of the thriving tourism in the city. Desalinated water also contributes to strengthening settlements in the southern Arava (Samar, Elifaz, Eylot, etc.) and army bases in the area.
Mekorot pioneered the design, construction and operation of other desalination facilities. An example is the Ktziot desalination facility in the Negev. This is a facility receiving global interest due to the unique desalination system developed there by Mekorot for the treatment of brackish water of very low quality. Using a smart biological process, Mekorot turns the materials in the water unsuitable for desalination into suitable materials. These materials are returned to the process of water desalination and reach high quality at the end of the process.
Another prominent desalination project being undertaken by Mekorot in an effort to solve the water shortage and to curb the salinization of the coastal aquifer is the “Eastern Drain” project. As part of the project, the “Lahat” and “Granot” brackish water desalination facilities were established; these will use the “reverse osmosis” method and deliver millions of cubic meters of water per annum.
As part of the investment in the next generation Mekorot invests many resources in research and development for additional breakthroughs in the field of desalination. The Group is executing these days at the “Shafdan” site in Rishon Leziyon an advanced pilot for the desalination of wastewater and their recycling for agriculture as treated effluents – wastewater that underwent a process of purification, usually a multi-step process. The purpose of the pilot is to bring the recycled water for agriculture to a “quarterly” level, whose quality exceeds even the required standards. This breakthrough will lead to the reduction of the areas required for wastewater recycling and to savings of $ 40 million per year for the water sector!
These examples reflect “Mekorot’s” achievements throughout the years in the field of desalination. Four key aspects characterize these achievements:
• Technological progress – using a range of the most modern membranes while combining them
• Energy saving – a reduction in energy consumption
• Treating concentrates – an advanced system for the efficient and responsible removal of salts emitted in the process
• Disposal of chemicals – combining means enabling a more effective treatment of the chemical elements in the water, such as boron