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Administrator Wheeler Visits Water Recycling Plant and U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem

11/18/2019
Contact Information: 
EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov )

JERUSALEM (Nov. 18, 2019) – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler toured the Shafdan Water Recycling Plant and met with officials from Mekorot Israel National Company. The presentation and tour highlighted Israel’s innovative solutions to the water scarcity issue, including water reuse and desalination. Administrator Wheeler then met with Ambassador David Friedman, U.S. Ambassador to Israel, at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem to discuss the mission. Administrator Wheeler will wrap up his trip to Israel by addressing the Water Technology and Environment Control (WATEC) conference and promoting EPA’s commitment to providing access to clean drinking water globally. 

“Seeing the ‘miracle of Israeli water’ was truly impressive, the efforts this nation is making to reclaim and reuse water is one the world should strive to follow,” said EPA Administrator Wheeler. “I want to thank Mekorot and Ambassador Friedman for hosting me today and building on our strong bilateral partnership.”

The Shafdan Water Recycling Plant is an example of the efforts Israel is taking to recycle and reuse their limited water supplies. Dr. Diego Berger, Special Projects Coordinator for Mekorot, led a presentation highlighting Mekorot’s efforts to ensure the reclamation and reuse of over 85% of their nation’s water. Since 2005, Israel has implemented a desalination program that now includes 34 plants and provides 40 million cubic meters per annum of desalinated water to its residents. Administrator Wheeler discussed U.S. efforts to implement desalination projects including invitations to apply for Water Infrastructure and Finance Innovation Act loans for projects in Carlsbad and Huntington Beach, Calif. He also called for more cooperation and technical exchanges between EPA and Mekorot officials.

In Jerusalem, Administrator Wheeler visited the U.S. Embassy to meet with Ambassador Friedman for a meeting on the current relations with Israel. Administrator Wheeler discussed furthering EPA’s Memorandum of Understanding with Israel’s Ministry of Environmental Protection, current collaborative projects, and future bilateral activities. Ambassador Friedman stressed the importance of highlighting EPA’s successes in improving the environment in addition to Israel’s efforts to solve their water scarcity issue and the efforts to export these technologies and practices globally.

Administrator Wheeler meets with Mekorot officials to discuss water issues.Administrator Wheeler meets with Mekorot officials to discuss water issues.Administrator Wheeler meets with Ambassador Friedman at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.Administrator Wheeler meets with Ambassador Friedman at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.