An Israeli company is to build a $5.5 billion desalination plant in Mexico, to supply the US state of Arizona with drinking water.
IDE Technologies first pitched the plan to the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority (WIFA) of Arizona’s board in December, aiming to replace or complement the declining water supply of the Colorado River. It needs the purchasing commitment from the state’s authorities before it can officially move forward with the project.
The plant will be built in Puerto Peñasco, a city in northern Mexico’s Sonora state, and water from the Sea of Cortez will be sold to Arizona once operations are completed in 2027.
In its submission to WIFA, it said the project would also supply water to Sonora, Mexico.
The desalination plant will be connected to a water distribution facility and reservoir in Arizona through a 1,000 ft-long series of pumps and pipes. It will draw water from the Sea of Cortez, desalinate it, and provide up to one billion cubic meters a year to Arizona.
The firm is behind some 400 desalination plants in more than 40 countries, including Israel’s facilities in Hadera, Ashkelon and Sorek.
IDE was recently awarded a contract to construct the first desalination plant in northern Israel, which will produce 100 million cubic meters of desalinated water annually.
In 2020, it was awarded the contract for another desalination plant in Israel, the Sorek 2, scheduled to start operating this year.
IDE Technologies was founded in the 1960s to transform the world’s oceans into affordable clean water.