Israel’s Revolutionary Water Management Methods Aren’t Going To Be Enough To Solve California’s Devastating Drought
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June 15 2015 – “National efforts to desalinate seawater and recycle wastewater have enabled the Mediterranean country, which is more than half desert, to satisfy its water needs even in times of drought — though that new water costs more. As The Times notes, more than half of the freshwater consumed by Israeli homes, agriculture, and industries is currently produced artificially.
Desalination has been central to the government’s efforts. The country’s fifth plant will likely come online this year, bringing total production to over 130 billion gallons of drinkable water per year.
Israel also established a centralized water authority to cut through bureaucratic red tape and made steep cuts in agricultural water subsidies, raising the price of water for farmers and encouraging lesser use. Recycling and conservation also figures heavily into the Israeli water scheme: 86% of domestic wastewater is recycled for agricultural use and household use has been cut by almost one-fifth, according to The Times. In contrast, California recycles just 13% of its municipal wastewater — although this puts it well ahead of the US as a whole, which recycles just 1%.”