Brazil's president-elect Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday said he wants an agreement with Israel to build desalination plants in the parched north where droughts are frequent. In a message on Twitter, Bolsonaro, who is to take office on Jan. 1, said his appointed Science and Technology Minister Marcos Pontes will travel to Tel Aviv in January to meet with his Israeli counterpart over the matter.
The president-elect said the idea is to begin building as soon as January a pilot facility to draw brackish well water, desalinate it, store it and distribute it to family farms, expanding the project to more localities after trials and adjustments.
Bolsonaro said the two sides will also announce cooperation in a trial of Israeli technology to produce water from humidity in the air.
Brazil's northeast has been going through prolonged severe droughts of cycles that can last seven years.
Brazil's poorer north has traditionally been a stronghold of the Workers' Party (PT), which governed from 2003 to 2016. The northeast is also the only region where Bolsonaro lost in the presidential runoff in October.