Sunday, January 16, 2011

World's 3 Largest Desalination Plants All in (Tiny) Israel

Well, actually, only two, right now. The construction of the third, which will be even larger than the two that are already in operation, began today; it will begin producing fresh water from the Mediterranean in 2013.

This is a nice story, but it has deeper layers to it. For years one of the standard stories about Israeli ineptitude, incompetence, inability to see beyond immediate political considerations and make long-term plans, and general stupidity, focused on the lack of water. The Sea of Galilee has been over utilized for decades, seawater has been seeping into coastal wells, sewage seeps into reservoirs - the works.I expect the stories were all true and justified. But then, a number of years ago, someone decided to get their act together, and within about a decade, the situation will have been turned on its head, all for the better. This fits a thesis I offer from time to time, that sooner or later Israelis notice major problems they're faced with, and purposefully set out to deal with them.

The minister who set the rectifying in motion in this case, was - if memory serves - one Avigdor Lieberman.

Reduced Israeli reliance on rainfall and its derivatives will someday make reaching an agreement with the Palestinians easier. So that's good, too. (And the doing of Lieberman?)

16 comments:

Silke said...

and if Israel should eventually come up with superior desalination technique which I've read it has already now, imagine all the business that will come her way. Let's hope she gets her money and respect worth for it.

Victor said...

Yaacov, you mean well, but you just don't see the forest for the trees. Don't you understand that this is all part of Lieberman's hidden plan to steal the Mediterranean from the Arabs?

Silke said...

You got it Victor

I learned in school in about 1955, that there was a plan to dry up the Mediterranean and thus to make the world a better place. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantropa

my geography teacher kind of liked the idea ...
(other than that he was a smart and genuinely kind man, today I think that he might have been Jewish, he had spent 13 years either in Peru or Bolivia or Columbia)

Empress Trudy said...

The Saudis have been talking about industrial scale plants as well. But in a curious twist, because of the huge energy demands, they proposed a large nuclear powered facility.

ummmm, imagine that?

Anonymous said...

For Sale
De Sal Plant Queensland Australia.
Never been used as new, Slight smell of mothballs.
Ussless poltician who built it thronw in free.
Noel

Y. Ben-David said...

We made aliyah in 1986 from the US, and at the time it seemed to be like going back in time 50 years. It still took years to get a telephone, there were only two (tasteless) brands of yogurt, and power blackouts were the norm, particularly in the winter. The shekel was not convertible on the world market, mail was often delivered less than once a week. All of that has changed. For all the complaints about the Electric Company's structure and the salaries their workers get, but their service is good so I would be cautious about reorganizing it. I heard California tried that and then they started getting blackouts.
The road system is vastly superior to what it was when we came, although there is still heavy traffic. The railroads, although still inadequate in their coverage of the country, are fast and very comfortable.

Obviously, someone is doing something right. There are apparently a level of technocrats below the level of the politicians running the departments who seem to know what they are doing.

Victor said...

The trains and buses are super cheap by American standards. Israel is small, but still, you can get from Beer Sheva to Haifa on $30, and if you plan ahead, maybe less. Frankly, much of the 60-80s era residential, multi-story housing reminds me of Soviet construction, especially on the inside. It's the same dusky, garbage chute, cat peed in the corner kind of smell. Maybe it's that way in urban America also. I don't know.

YBD, where did you settle down in Israel?

Silke said...

Noah Feldman (yes I know) mentioned in a longish interview that institutions like for example structures that can manage utilities without a hitch are extremely hard to build and take time to find their stride.

Judging from all I experienced when paper was transferred to PCs and "screw driver wielders" were allowed to tell us paper pushers that our concern with continuity was BS I'd say he got that one right.

Regarded in that light I believe that to get a whole country going in such a short time is nothing short of a miracle.

Y. Ben-David said...

Victor-
We live near Rishon Le'Tzion.

Silke said...

Noel
trust Israel to have learned from their failures

Anonymous said...

YBD

Looking back, when I moved home in 1991, it did seem like more of a 3rd world country - as for the tasteless yogurt, there were always dozens of different "ma'adaney chalav"!!

Israel made the jump from 3rd to most advanced around 1996 with the commercialization of the cell phone.

I am so proud of the my little country. I have such a hole in my heart because I do not live there - for now.

Silke - we always learn from our failures, we just need to be reminded of them frequently to internalize the lesson.

Asaf

Y. Ben-David said...

Asaf-
We are waiting for you with open arms. But in the meantime, work with the Jews wherever you are and get them to understand what Israel is, the nature of our Arab neighbors, and the importance of Israel to them.

Silke said...

and please allow us non-belongers to help wherever you find us useful

Anonymous said...

I assure you Silke, you belong.

Asaf

Silke said...

Asaf
thank you !
- I am by nature a non-belonger, it is just that I enjoy believing that I may be able to do something useful without "barging in"

Silke said...

Yaacov
I think this may be a book by somebody you know - beware the review tells terrible stuff - the author's name is Daniel Blatman

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,739518,00.html
Book Details German Citizens' Role in End of War Killings

By Jan Friedmann