Minister for Water Resources P.J. Joseph has said that the government is keen on establishing desalination plants to improve water availability in the State.

Addressing a meeting organised by the State government and the Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai in connection with the Water Technology Day here on Tuesday, he said the desalination plants of various capacities would be set up as a pilot project with assistance from Israel, a semi arid and rain-deficient country that had made significant progress in water management.

Contrasting the situation in Kerala with that in Israel, he said the State faced a drought-like situation in summer despite receiving more than 3,000 mm of rain ever year spread over six months, while Israel was poised to become a rain independent country in a couple of years.

“There is tremendous scope for improving water service levels which are absolutely low in few parts of Kerala. We are facing a situation in which water cannot be made available to consumers because of deficiencies in supply,” he said. He said the government would execute demand-driven participatory water supply schemes worth Rs.1,000 crore with World Bank assistance.

Mr. Joseph said climate change was bound to worsen the unpredictability of water supply in the coming years, making water management more relevant. Consul General of Israel in Mumbai Orna Sagiv, Trade Attaché Elad Gafni, representatives of Israeli private companies in the water sector, and officials of the Kerala Water Authority and the Department of Water Resources were present.

About 25 companies specialising in drinking water, waste water treatment and recycling, desalination, water harvesting etc. made presentations.