Dead Sea 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
As rainstorms barreled through Israel in December, drenching fields and filling
up reservoirs, the Dead Sea’s water level continued to drop.
January, the Dead Sea fell to 427.82 meters below sea level, three centimeters
lower than the 427.79 m. below sea level measured the month before, according to
Dead Sea and Arava Science Center researcher Eli Raz, citing raw data from the
Water Authority’s Hydrological Services.
In comparison, he stressed, Lake
Kinneret celebrated an increase of 11 cm. in the same time period.
additional drop in water level of the Dead Sea brings the basin to 0.93 m. below
its level one year ago, the Hydrological Services data said.
December drop was significantly less for the month in 2013 than it was during
the same period in 2012, when the basin fell 11 centimeters, Hydrological
The slow in water-level decrease in December in
comparison to the previous two months was due to the particularly rainy weather
conditions – and therefore a significant entry of floodwaters, including from
the Lower Jordan River – Raz explained.
The low temperatures experienced
throughout much of the month slowed the rate of evaporation from the basin, he
Although this December the Dead Sea may have decreased less than it
did last December, the drop nonetheless perpetuates an ongoing trend of an
alarmingly plummeting water level for the Dead Sea, which lost 8 centimeters in
November and 14 cm. in October, Raz explained.
Only a decade ago, the
basin’s water level was 416.77 m. below sea level, 11.05 m. higher than
the level today.
Taking December’s drop into account, the average annual
drop in water level for the Dead Sea is now 1.105 m., Raz said.
Kinneret, on the other hand, did experience a rise during December 2013, this
figure is much smaller than the northern basin’s 50-centimeter increase in
December 2012, Hydrological Services reported.
Other basins around the
country fared much better from the December onslaught of precipitation, with
groundwater in the Yarkon- Teninim aquifer rising between 13 and 39 cm.,
Hydrological Services said.
Meanwhile, groundwater levels also rose in
most of the coastal aquifer.
The Western Galilee Naaman and Kabri basins
featured rises of 22 and 16 cm., respectively, Hydrological Services said.