It always seemed so far in the future. But the long-awaited desalination plant in the coastal city of Ashekelon is up and running! Using reverse osmosis, originally developed to desalinate sea water for submarines, the plant has made its first delivery of reclaimed water to Mekorot, Israel's national water carrier, for transport to the Negev. Every hour, 3,500 cubic meters (924,000 gallons) of water will flow to the desert. At a cost of 52 agurot (12 cents) per cubic meter (264 gallons), the reclaimed water help make the desert bloom!