Slaking California’s Thirst—if Politics Allows

Israel solved its water woes in five years by desalination. A CEO explains why it took him 10 years to build a single plant near San Diego.

Israel has made the desert bloom, but the task hasn’t always been an easy one. For decades, the country suffered chronic water shortages brought on by intermittent droughts amid rapid population growth—a problem only partly ameliorated by aggressive water pricing and conservation. In 2009, after five consecutive dry winters, the government water authority restricted outdoor gardening and agricultural irrigation.

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