Our History

Mekorot’s history is the foundation for a better future

Mekorot is leading the water technologies of tomorrow. Behind is a rich past of building an advanced stable water economy. A lot of water has flowed since we got started, some time more than 80 years ago, despite complex and even unique challenges. Let us travel down the time tunnel along the development of water sources for all needs.

Installing pipes

From vision to reality

launch of the first water plants

1930s

  • Mekorot’s founding generation thinks big, drilling the country’s first wells for irrigating farms of settlements in the north.
  • A small – very small – water company was founded even before Israel’s Declaration of Independence in 1948. That company is us – Mekorot. It had just six employees, but had a great vision: to develop a uniform water enterprise with a comprehensive perspective of all of Israel’s  water resources and needs
  • Mekorot builds the first water plant in the country to supply water for drinking and farming in northern settlements. The plant, which was unique for its time, would go on to become the country’s first regional water plant. Its success heralded the construction of more local and regional plants.

 

Further, higher

1940s

Breakthroughs for life in the desert and the mountains

  • Mekorot drills wells in arid lands found, for the first time, quantities of water that could be pumped and supplied for drinking and farming.
  • Mekorot builds the first water plant in Israel’s arid south a breakthrough enabling the founding of eleven new settlements to make the desert bloom. 
  • Mekorot builds the first line to Jerusalem, Israel’s capital at 900 meters above sea level, in a heroic effort. The city is subsequently connected to the national water system.

Israel connects to its water sources

1950s

Inter-regional connections

  • In an attempt to boost the amount of water in Israel, Mekorot developed floodwater capture and storage for agricultural use in the north and desert south.
  • Mekorot inaugurates the first enterprise for carrying water between regions in the new country, transporting water from natural springs in central Israel to arid lands in the south.

The National Water Carrier

1960s

Completing the National Water Carrier

  • Mekorot continues to expand the inter-regional water carrier enterprise, boosting the water supply for the development of towns. 
  • Mekorot completes the National Water Carrier, which connected all of the regional and inter-regional systems. The core of the largest enterprise ever built in Israel was to carry water from the Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee) in the north to towns and settlements in the arid south – a distance of 130 km. 
  • Mekorot is declared as the National Water Authority under the Water Law, establishing its standing as Israel’s national water company. 
  • Mekorot inaugurates the first seawater desalination for the development of settlements, agriculture, and the economy at the edge of the desert.
  • Mekorot initiates further unique activity in the world to secure every drop of water: cloud seeding to boost precipitation in northern Israel.
ben gurion visiting on mekorot

Smart solutions to exploit every drop of water

1970s

  • Mekorot launches operation of the largest effluent treatment plant in the Middle East to treat the wastewater of the large central Israel’s metropolitan area. Mekorot has been responsible for all stages of the plant’s operation since its construction

Water reuse for agriculture

1980s

140 million cubic meters of water returned to farmers

  • Mekorot inaugurates the largest wastewater recycling plant in northern Israel to produce water for unrestricted agricultural use.
  • Mekorot builds the largest wastewater recycling plant in the Middle East, producing 140 million cubic meters of treated wastewater from Israel’s central metropolitan area for farmers in the southern desert.

the good news of seawater desalination

1990s

The first desalination plant in the Middle East gets underway

  • The first seawater reverse osmosis desalination in plant in Israel and the Middle East is built to meet the full demand for water consumption to develop a thriving tourism industry in the desert.
  • Under the Water Accords, signed in Washington DC, Israel supplies water to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
sabha desalination plant

the desalination era in Israel

2000s

Launch of the new National Water Carrier

  • Israel transfers tens of millions of cubic meters of water annually to the Kingdom of Jordan under the peace treaty between the two countries.
  • Mekorot completes the National Filtration Plant, the largest of its kind in the Middle East and the fourth largest in the world, for the treatment of high-quality potable water that exceeds even the strictest standards.
  • Israel enters the desalination era with the construction of the New National Water Carrier, which accepts water for household use from five desalination plants along the Mediterranean coast.
  • Mekorot switches to integrative management of all types of water in a uniform system: desalinated water, well water, surface water, brackish water, floodwater, and treated wastewater.
eshkol site

Leading the global water revolution

2020s

The 2020s –dynamic, technological, and digital water economy management

  • Mekorot is leading technological innovation to become a data-driven company that unifies operations (OT) and management (IT) in a single ecosystem.
  • Mekorot is applying Artificial Intelligence and virtual reality and augmented reality-based technologies, advanced data processing, broadband communications, mobility, immense storage infrastructures, Big Data, and drone technologies.
  • Mekorot is integrating financial and operational models to set new standards for the global water industry.
  • Mekorot is building sophisticated mechanical and engineering systems for streamlining and savings.
  • Mekorot is investing in startups to develop the water technologies of tomorrow.
  • Mekorot is laying smart pipelines and infrastructures along the uniform system for all types of water.
  • Mekorot is leading multiple development plans to strengthen the stability of the water economy under challenging climate conditions.
  • Mekorot is continuing to ceaselessly unrestricted supply water for all consumers.
  • Mekorot is linking up with neighboring countries to promote regional prosperity.
jerusalem system