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יק"א מקדמת, מזה 120 שנים, את החינוך החקלאות והתיירות בגליל, בנגב ובערבה.


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מינהל המחקר החקלאי - מרכז וולקני

שימוש במי תמלחת ממתקני התפלה, לגידול דגים - פרויקט תלת שנתי

Due to the severe water shortage in Israel desalination plants are being erected in an effort to supply water. In cases where the plant is on the seashore, the brine (concentrated salts remaining after the water is desalinated) is dumped in the sea. Large quantities of saline water exist in the Arava region. This water cannot be used for agriculture or human consumption but can be used for desalination and plans have been formulated to build desalination units inland. This however poses a problem of disposing of the salts which accumulate in this inland brine. One solution is to dry the brine and haul the salts to dumping grounds (near the Dead Sea for example). The costs involved in the removal of the brine are very high and will substantially raise the price of the desalinated water. A unique system for fish rearing coupled with brine evaporation is proposed. The fish producers will pay for the use of the brine water prior to its drying and this will help in defraying the high costs involved in the brine disposal.

Proposed project rationale:

Rearing marine ornamental fish has become a new reality in the Arava region, following an ICA backed research and development project. The controlled rearing of saltwater fish in inland ponds has the advantage of isolating the fish from diseases and parasites that often enter the ponds with the water pumped in from the sea. Yet, the cost of the water for these systems is very expensive. Hauling and disinfecting water from the sea currently costs over $30 per 1000 liters . Alternatively seawater can be "created" by mixing sea salt (a mixture of different salts predominantly, but not solely, NaCl) with freshwater. This method is also costly as the special sea salt is expensive and 1000 liters of the mixture suited for marine fish costs around $30. Therefore if the brine water (solely or as a mixture) will be suitable for fish rearing the fish farmers will be willing to pay for this cheaper source of water.


In the course of the study brine from a desalination unit in the Arava region will be used to rear marine ornamental fish. The brine will be used at a concentration of 30‰ and in addition mixtures of brine with diluted seawater - reaching a final concentration of 30‰ will be tested in parallel. The fish growth and health will be closely monitored and different blood parameters related to osmotic-regulation will be tested. It is planned to use this model in order to identify the effects of different salts in the brine on the fish growth and health. This will enable the researchers to develop a bioassay to test water of different salinities and verify their suitability for fish rearing. At a later stage of the project this bioassay will be utilized to explore the possibility of rearing edible fish such as the European sea bass or grouper fish on brine. If successful, this evaluation method can be applied in different areas in Israel as well as other inland desalination plants in need of brine disposal.

איש קשר:
Prof. Shenaan Harpaz