Netanyahu Offers Help for California's Drought

Wednesday, 05 Mar 2014 07:01 PM

 

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered to help California weather its drought with water conservation and desalination techniques pioneered by his country's scientists.

Netanyahu signed a memorandum of understanding for joint technology development today with California Governor Jerry Brown in a tour through Silicon Valley that also took him to Apple and other computer-related companies.

"California doesn’t need to have a water problem," Netanyahu said at a press conference with Brown at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. "By cooperating together we can overcome this — we’ve proven it."

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Six decades of providing water in a country that's 60 percent desert have made Israel a technological leader in countering drought. Desalination of sea water, reuse of treated sewage for agriculture, software creating an early-warning system for leaks, computerized drip irrigation and careful accounting of every drop have become the norm in Israel, the world’s 40th biggest economy.

North of San Diego, Israel’s IDE Technologies is helping to build what it says will be the largest seawater desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere. The facility, when finished in 2016, will be able to provide 50 million gallons of potable water a day. Three smaller plants already operate in California, and 15 more have been proposed.

Brown said he would welcomed the assistance from Netanyahu.

"We’re in the midst of a mega drought," Brown said. "Israel has demonstrated how efficient a country can be and this is a great opportunity for collaboration."

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