China comes shopping for water solutions

China Water

WATCH VIDEO: China seeks water solutions

High level Chinese officials from the ministry of economy, ministry of water resources and Shandong province were in Tel Aviv this week for a major Water Technology Conference. China-Israel cooperation on water problems has grown rapidly in recent years, bringing fresh drinking water through desalination, new irrigation techniques for farmers and major efforts to reduce pollution.

One of the many joint ventures is the Guangdong China-Israel Industrial Park. “Israel has very advanced water treatment technology. In China we have a huge market, in fact it’s one of the biggest water treatment markets in the world. So the park here is to serve as a platform to connect Israeli technology and the Chinese market,” said Pan Huageng, chairman of Guangdong China-Israel Industrial Park.

On display were the new methods developed here that has made Israel a world leader in water, waste and irrigation technology.

“Israel was not blessed with water. We don’t have much water in Israel. We’ve got a lot of desert so we had to generate our own water. Over 50% of our municipal water is desalinated water. 80% of the agriculture water is re-used,” Israeli Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett said.

The Israeli company IDE built China’s largest desalination plant in Tienjin, producing 200,000 cubic metres of fresh water every day. IDE operates 400 plants in 40 countries.

“We were extremely lucky in Israel to have a severe shortage of water for many years. This really brought Israel to develop technologies very early on. The first desalination test plants in the world 50 years ago were in Israel,” said Ron Yachini from IDE Technologies.

Two-thirds of Israel is desert, so for more than half a century people here have been grappling with water issues. Today, Israel’s technology sector is one of the most active in the world. The combination of technology and water has made Israel one of the global addresses for water solutions.

Israeli technology is already deployed throughout China in drip irrigation, waste water management and desalination and from the high interest that’s being shown in today’s conference, it seems that Israeli footprint is only going to grow larger.

CCTV, October 23. 2013

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