Companies and institutions comprising Israel's growing water technology industry expect to reach $5 billion in annual water-related exports within three years, reported Israel National News.
Water-related exports made up primarily of desalination, drip irrigation and water purification technologies are expected to top $1 billion in 2007.
In addition to the state-owned Mekorot water carrier, Israel has some 270 private companies and organizations engaged in water research and development. The industry currently employs more than 8,000 Israelis.
But the focus of this burgeoning industry is not only on foreign markets. Last month, a new desalination plant began pumping water from the Mediterranean Sea, and is expected to provide fresh water to some 300,000 Israelis living along the coastal plain.
Four more desalination plants are scheduled to go online in the next five years, significantly reducing Israel's dependence on the increasingly overtaxed Sea of Galilee and mountain aquifers.