Mekorot has begun preparations to install fluoridation units
on the National Water Carrier and at all of its wells, to
treat the water supplied for drinking. The goal is to
fluoridate all drinking water by May 2001, in compliance with
Health Ministry requirements.
Mekorot will build 132 fluoridation stations along the length
of the water carrier. Yaakov Jacques, director of the Mekorot
Water Quality Control Unit, notes that by the scheduled date,
fluoridated drinking water will be supplied to all
settlements with more than 5,000 residents, approximately 90%
of the population. In some regions of the country, such as
the Negev, water is naturally fluoridated.
Engineer Guri Sha'anan, who heads the desalination project in
Mekorot, has said that fluoridation is customary throughout
the Western world and is recommended by the World Health
Organization. Fluoride decreases the frequency of dental
cavities by 70%. Fluoridation of drinking water is considered
the most effective way to supply fluoride. Experience has
shown that one milligram is the recommended amount of
fluoride per liter of water.
Sha'anan estimates the annual cost of fluoridation at 7
dollars per person. However, fluoridation will result in a
substantial reduction in the costs of dental treatment, which
averages out at $50.00 a year per capita.