Business

Can Mass. find a new tech sector in Israel’s desert?

Drip-irrigation and related systems nourish about 75 percent of Israel’s agricultural land, like this vineyard in Yatir Forest.
Drip-irrigation and related systems nourish about 75 percent of Israel’s agricultural land, like this vineyard in Yatir Forest.

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In Massachusetts, state officials and entrepreneurs see collaboration with Israel as an opportunity to build another world class technology sector that will create potable water from the ocean; nurture crops with treated sewage; manage water quality with software; and mine for water in much the same way precious gems are unearthed.

The payoff could be huge. The global water industry today generates revenues of up to $600 billion a year, according to Boston market intelligence firm Lux Research Inc., and that is projected to grow to $700 billion by the end of the decade.

“We’ve done it in IT. We’ve done it in biotech. We can do it in water,” said Richard K. Sullivan Jr., the state’s secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

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