new UC Davis study revealed that California’s water shortages in 2016 are estimated to cost the state’s agricultural industry $550 million and 1,800 jobs. In response, California is looking to implement water solutions capable of changing its environmental and economic trajectory. Israeli innovations in filtering membrane technology helped engineer the nation’s turnaround, by ensuring more than half of the country’s domestic water comes from desalination. Utilizing the same technology, Israeli company IDE Technology designed California’s largest desalination plant at Carlsbad, promising 2,500 new jobs and $350 million for the state’s economy. California is building off of IDE’s innovation by creating another desalination plant in Huntington Beach. The plant is anticipated to produce as much fresh water as the Carlsbad plant, while operating as carbon-neutral. Praised by California’s
Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León, the newly announced facility will help mitigate California’s drought without causing collateral environmental damage.
July 13, a bipartisan group of 14 members of the House of Representatives sent a letter praising Israel’s commitment to increase the sale of electricity to the Gaza Strip that will support operation of the Northern Gaza Sewage Treatment Project (NGEST). Led by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Ted Poe (R-TX), the lawmakers highlighted that the additional electricity will enable Gazans to increase their water supply through more effective treatment of their wastewater. “We sincerely praise and support your practical actions that benefit Israeli and Palestinians alike, and protect the regional natural resources,” wrote the representatives to Israel’s Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz and Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman. “The security and health of the people of Israel, and the safe access to water and sanitation services for all people,
are both major priorities for the United States.”
Jordan’s infrastructure strains to cope with the influx of several million refugees from Syria and Iraq, King Abdullah has committed to closer cooperation with Israel on water, electricity and natural gas. In July, an Israeli delegation led by Deputy Minister of Regional Cooperation Ayoob Kara met with Jordanian Prime Minister Dr. Hani Al-Muki to discuss joint infrastructure ventures. The largest bilateral project is the proposed 200 km underground pipeline that would pump water from the Red Sea to a desalination plant in Aqaba, Jordan. The plant is expected to produce 65-85 million cubic meters of water annually while leftover brine would flow to replenish the shrinking Dead Sea. Israel and Jordan are also expected to sign a natural gas deal to supply the Jordanian National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) with 45 billion cubic meters of natural gas over 15 years from Israel’s Leviathan
Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Resources is pursuing the creation of a laboratory to simulate cyberattacks. Through focused attack scenarios on critical infrastructure, the initiative would provide a test-bed environment and the sharing of best practices. The laboratory will offer opportunities for academic research in cybersecurity and allow students to collaborate with similar institutions worldwide. The effort is critical as cyberattacks remain the leading threat to infrastructure in Israel.