An Israeli company is currently involved in building what is expected to be America's largest seawater desalination plant The $922 million plant is being developed by Israel's IDE Technologies working alongside a local company, Poseidon Resources Corp. By its completion in 2016, the plant in Carlsbad, California will be able to provide 50 million gallons of potable water a day. 15 additional plants have been proposed. Ultimately, desalinated water is expecting to provide about 10 percent of the county’s supply.
From the Bloomberg news:
Avraham Tenne, head of the Desalination Division at Israel’s Water Authority offers this advice to drought weary Californians:
Six decades of providing water in a country that’s 60 percent desert have made Israel a technological leader in the field, a model that points the way for drought-stricken California.
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.
“This is the one supply that San Diego County is investing in that is truly drought-proof,” said Poseidon senior VP Peter MacLaggan. "It does cost more, but it has some reliability benefits that are very important to the regional economy.”
In the meantime, Californians should learn to conserve water, Tenne said. Raising prices, education to reduce waste, and cutting back on grassy areas are some of the methods that Israel has used to cut back on consumption, which is currently about 90 cubic meters per year per person, compared with 170 in California.
“We do a lot of things, not just desalination,” Tenne said. “These are all things that California can do.”