India's Narendra Modi and Netanyahu Frolic in the Waves on Visit to Mobile Desalination Unit

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stand in the Mediterranean Sea on their visit to a mobile desalination unit on July 6, 2017.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stand in the Mediterranean Sea on their visit to a mobile desalination unit on July 6, 2017.Credit: GPO
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Haaretz

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi visited a mobile desalination unit on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea on Thursday, the final day of Modi's historic 48-hour visit to Israel.

>> FOLLOW LIVE: Modi's two-day visit to Israel >>

With the visit making for some noteworthy images, Israelis were quick to poke fun at Netanyahu and Modi's day at the beach. One observer superimposed a picture of Chris Christie, New Jersey's Republican governor, on one of the images and posted it on Facebook.

Modi and Netanyahu signed a series of economic agreements on Wednesday, including on water conservation, signaling the two countries’ determination to expand their defense ties into a broader trade relationship encompassing technology.

In recent years, Israel has pumped increasing quantities of water from the sea. The series of desalination plants built along the coast supplies a significant amount of water to the country’s homes, relieving Israel of the chronic water shortages it once endured.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu enjoy a glass of water during their visit to a mobile desalination unit on July 6, 2017.Credit: GPO
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu drive in mobile desalination unit along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. July 6, 2017.Credit: GPO
Modi and Netanyahu visit a mobile desalination unitCredit: IsraeliPM / YouTube

This year, the country’s fifth desalination plant was erected in Ashdod. Along with the four older plants, some 582 million cubic meters of water will be produced annually – meeting about two-thirds of Israel’s domestic needs.

Israel's holistic, centralized water management is an inspiration to other nations struggling with water shortages – from thirsty areas in California to arid sites in Egypt.

But it's not all wine and roses: The desalination installations have brought new problems, too, such as the accumulative effect of large quantities of salt being dumped back into the sea as a by-product of the desalination process. 

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