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Ashkelon Desalinization Plant Up and Running

November 27, 2005
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The plant began delivering water to the National Water Carrier in August, which will carry it to southern Israel. The water is now being delivered to the Negev at a rate of 3,500 cubic meters (924,000 gallons) of water per hour.This is only the first stage of the plant’s production. Capacity will be doubled by the end of this year, which will amount to 100 million cubic meters (26 billion gallons) per year.

The seawater is rendered drinkable through the use of reverse osmosis, in which salt water is forced through a semipermeable membrane that does not allow the salt molecules to pass though. The salt is then returned to the Mediterranean Sea.

The desalinated water costs 52 agurot (US $0.12) per cubic meter (264 gallons) and is considered to be of high quality since it contains no contaminants, salts, or other substances in it. The water arriving at homes in the Negev is mixed together with ordinary water in order to continue to provide minerals and substances needed by the body.

Another positive aspect of the desalinated water is that it is “soft” water, which saves on the use of laundry powder and fabric softeners, and it does not leave calcium deposits in pots, pans, and pipes as normal Israeli “hard” water tends to do.

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