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Israel Opens Large Water Plant

May 16, 2010 — Israel has opened a major water desalinization plant in Hadera.

A massive water purification plant has been built in Israel to help solve a shortage of fresh water.

The site in the northern city, Hadera, extends a network of pipes into the Mediterranean Sea.

The plant, which is one of the largest in the world, will draw in salty water and desalinate it.

The plan is that the plant will eventually be the third of five locations to dot Israel's coastline.

The Hadera site will provide the nation with two-thirds of its drinking water and re-route the National Water Carrier - a transport system that has sustained the nation for about fifty years.

Access to fresh water has been a source of tension for all governments in the conflicted region.

The development of desalination plants is being touted as a partial solution to the issue.

There is some environmental controversy with the project, however.

Some worry that the taking of water from the sea could negatively affect aquatic life and the ecosystem.

Proponents point out that the $425 million plant uses a reverse osmosis system that avoids having to heat the water to remove salt.

When fully operational, the plant will produce 33 billion gallons of fresh water each year.

A larger plant near the southern port of Ashdod will come on line in 2013.

In addition to the lack of fresh water sources naturally existing in the area, much of the region has experienced prolonged drought over the last decade.

The Sea of Galilee has been a source of fresh water in the northern part of the country. However, a lack of rain has lead to record low water levels in recent years.

That has reduced the connecting Jordan River to a trickle in some areas and hurt both Israel and neighbouring Jordan's water supply.

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