Herzog unveils Mekorot's new water supply system for Jerusalem

Designated by the government as a national infrastructural project, the system is set to connect Jerusalem and nearby settlements to desalinated Mediterranean waters.

 (L-R) Energy Minister Karin Elharrar, President Isaac Herzog, First Lady Michal Herzog and Mekorot CEO Itzhak Aharonovitch at the Jerusalem water system groundbreaking (photo credit: AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO)
(L-R) Energy Minister Karin Elharrar, President Isaac Herzog, First Lady Michal Herzog and Mekorot CEO Itzhak Aharonovitch at the Jerusalem water system groundbreaking
(photo credit: AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO)

President Isaac Herzog on Thursday launched the new water transportation system for Jerusalem to be operated by Mekorot, Israel's national water company.

Mekorot's new system, designated by the government as a national infrastructural project, is set to connect residents of Jerusalem and nearby settlements to desalinated Mediterranean waters.

The project, six years in the making, saw Mekorot mine a 13 k.m. tunnel through the Jerusalem hills at a cost of NIS 2.5 billion. 

Fiber optics were attached to the pipes connecting Israel's capital to the Mediterranean Sea for future monitoring of malfunctions in the system.

Herzog was joined at the groundbreaking ceremony by First Lady Michal Herzog, Energy Minister Karin Elharrar and Mekorot CEO Itzhak Aharonovitch.

 President Isaac Herzog launching Mekorot's new water supply system for Jerusalem on February 10, 2022 (credit: AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO) President Isaac Herzog launching Mekorot's new water supply system for Jerusalem on February 10, 2022 (credit: AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO)

"Water supply was one of Jerusalem's biggest and well-known challenges," Herzog said at the ceremony. "This is a real life-changing revolution for those living in the area, regardless of religion, belief or lifestyle."

Referring to the climate crisis, Herzog said he was pleased to see Mekorot "committing to the preservation of wildlife and nature in the area" during the construction of the new piping system.

"The groundbreaking of this new system will see Jerusalem usher in water and, in turn, life security for the next four decades," Elharrar said. "This is our celebration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital."

The system will begin to officially function and deliver water to the capital's residents in the next few weeks.