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Rehabilitation of water sources

Rehabilitation of water sources

The water revolution led by “Mekorot” will bring a new reality to Israel: as of 2014 the majority of the domestic water consumption, about 75 percent of the total consumption, will be based on desalinated seawater. As a result, pumping from the natural water sources will decline significantly and “Mekorot” will rehabilitate the Kinneret and aquifers. Today the natural sources in Israel are short of approximately a billion and a quarter cubic meters of water!

“Mekorot” has already begun the rehabilitation of the southern coastal aquifer, as part of the “Eastern Drain” project. Prolonged drought years resulted in over-pumping from the aquifer, causing the lowering of the water level and a disruption of the hydrologic balance between the coastal aquifer and the salty mountain aquifer, located to the east. Therefore, “Mekorot” promoted the project, which includes, among other things, the stabilization of the groundwater level and the curbing of the desalination processes. In this framework “Mekorot” executed more than 40 new boreholes in addition to the existing ones, which together constitute a hydrological buffer preventing the continued penetration of brackish water into the aquifer. The brackish borehole waters pumped from the eastern axis of the coastal aquifer are transferred through collection lines to special facilities established by “Mekorot” for the purpose of desalination – the “Granot” desalination facility and the “Lahat” desalination facility. The facilities operate using “reverse osmosis” and also provide water to the national system.

The construction of the desalination facilities is done in two stages. Upon their completion the “Granot” desalination facility may yield about 52 500 cubic meters a day and the output of the “Lahat” desalination facility may reach 42,600 cubic meters a day.

One of the challenges “Mekorot” was faced with in this project, which is considered to be a global achievement,  was the ability to handle the desalination concentrate and remove the salts emitted in the process in a manner that will not harm the environment. “Mekorot” laid a central line for the concentrate, of particularly large diameters and about 30 km long, which connects the “Granot” and the “Lahat” facilities. This line, controlled by “Mekorot” throughout its entire length, does not exist anywhere else in the world and is considered an unprecedented success in the field!