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U.S. Team Completes Talks in Israel on Nuclear Desalination Proposal

A team of American desalination experts left Israel today after a series of meetings with Israeli experts and visits to possible sites for a nuclear powered water desalination and electric generator plant projected to be built in Israel with U.S. financial assistance. The team, headed by George Woods, a special representative of President Johnson, held final summing-up talks with Prime Minister Eshkol before its departure and will report to the President on the various problems involved in the project.

The difficulties, it was learned, are mainly financial. Israel needs cheap financing of the project in order to keep the price of desalted water within economic limits. The project is considered essential Inasmuch as the country’s existing fresh water sources, including the Jordan river and all springs and wells, are insufficient to keep up with the growing population which needs additional arable land. President Johnson first announced the project in 1964.