Is desalination the answer?

For years, Israel’s drinking water strategy has been lauded as being the envy of the world.

By DAVID BRUMMER
July 12, 2018 19:40
A  view of the Melbourne Docklands and the city skyline from Waterfront City, looking acros

A view of the Melbourne Docklands and the city skyline from Waterfront City, looking across Victoria Harbour. Australia leads the world in biofiltration with thousands of such systems in the city of Melbourne and many more in the city of Adelaide. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 
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Over the last two decades, desalination has appeared to be the answer to Israel’s urgent potable water shortfall, but in reality it has produced damaging and problematic unintended consequences.

It is time to rethink Israel’s water strategy, especially in light of the April 2018 storms when millions of cubic meters of urban runoff simply flowed into the sea, rather than being redirected to replenish diminishing natural underground water reserves. And beyond rethinking the strategy, there are challenging questions about why Israel is proceeding with hugely expensive and energy-inefficient desalination rather than a proven cheaper and better alternative.

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