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California governor seeks drought help from Israel’s Netanyahu

By Reuters
Thursday, March 6, 2014 9:52 EDT
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MOUNTAIN VIEW, California (Reuters) – California Governor Jerry Brown told visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday that he hoped Israeli water technology could help his state deal with a devastating drought.

Netanyahu, on a visit to Silicon Valley, and Brown signed a memorandum of understanding for research and development cooperation in various technological fields, including water conservation.

“Israel has demonstrated how efficient a country can be, and there is a great opportunity for collaboration,” Brown said.

Netanyahu said Israel’s expertise in wastewater recycling, desalination and drip irrigation had solved its water problems.

On Saturday, Brown signed into law a $687 million drought-relief package to deal with a water shortage he has called the worst in the state’s modern history.

In Silicon Valley, Netanyahu, who has dubbed Israel the “innovation nation,” met at Apple headquarters with Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook and also planned to see Jan Koum, co-founder of messaging app firm WhatsApp.

Netanyahu, who arrived in California on Tuesday after talks in Washington the previous day with President Barack Obama, said he hoped to drum up more Silicon Valley investment in Israel.

Israeli high-tech companies raised $2.3 billion in 2013 from local and foreign investors, the highest amount in a decade and up 22 percent from 2012, according to The Israel Venture Capital (IVC) Research Center.

(Reporting by Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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