Water levels at Israel’s main freshwater reservoir drop 26 inches since May; expected to experience further drop before winter


The water levels in Lake Kinneret – the Sea of Galilee – which is Israel’s main freshwater reservoir have experienced a disconcerting drop of 26 inches in three months, according to the Water Authority.

The lake experienced a favorable winter in 2011, but the harsh summer’s evaporation rate and regular pumping from the lake have taken their toll.
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The Energy and Water Ministry has an ongoing campaign urging the public to exercise responsible water use, and various measures have been imposed on municipalities as to the use of water for parks and garden irrigation, but still, the situation is dismal.

According to the Water Authority, the Kinneret’s water levels could drop by as much as an additional 40 inches before winter rains have any effect on them. That would bring water levels well below the “lower red line” – a point of measurement stating that pumping water from the lake is dangerous to its eco system.

July’s heat waves were unkind to the reservoir, causing water levels to drop by 11 inches. As of August 23, water level at the lake was at 211.98 meters below sea level – falling in between the two “red lines” setting,” the Water Authority said.

In 2009, Israel experience a drought that brought Lake Kinneret close to its “black line” of 214.87 meters below sea level – a point at which pumping water from the lake would have devastating effects on its eco system.