As rain begins to dampen the streets of central and northern Israel this fall,
experts find the water level of Lake Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee) to be
encouraging – but with no correlation to the recent bouts of early seasonal
On Tuesday morning, the Kinneret water level stood at 212.345
meters below sea level, the lowest that it has been at this time of year since
2006, when it stood at 211.990 meters below sea level on October 10 of that
year, according to Water Authority data. The water level is significantly above
the feared “black line” – the historical minimum of the lake, 214.87 meters
below sea level – and it is also above the bottom red line, which stands at 213
meters below sea level.
On approximately October 9 from 2011 through
2006, respectively, the Kinneret water levels stood at 213.455, 213.745,
214.270, 214.1 and 212.41 meters below sea level, according to Water Authority
“This situation occurs due to three reasons – the first one is that
we had an average winter, after seven drought years,” Water Authority spokesman
Uri Schor told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday evening. “The second is the Water
Authority policy – that we pump much less from Lake Kinneret than in other
years.” In 2011, the Water Authority pumped 190 million cubic meters of water
from the Kinneret; in the prior decade, an average of 300 million cubic meters
of water were pumped annually, according to Schor.
The third reason is
the dramatic increase of desalinated and recycled water use throughout the
country, he explained. “Those three reasons made it possible for us to leave
more natural water in the resources, and at Lake Kinneret we are about one meter
higher than last year,” Schor said.
While this news is encouraging, there
are still many steps to be taken to further improve the Kinneret’s situation,
“We are still only about 65 centimeters above the red bottom,
and that’s not the best situation,” he said. “The ideal situation would have
been if at this time of the year we would be one meter higher. So we have still
a lot to reach for.”
On Monday, Tel Aviv received about 6 millimeters of
rain, Haifa about 10 millimeters and northeastern areas about 7 millimeters,
according to data from the Israel Meteorological Service.
early bouts of rain have naturally encouraged the country’s water managers, even
if none of the precipitation thus far amounted to anything significant, Schor
“We hope it’s a sign for a very good year,” he said.”If we have an
average year plus continued used of desalination and recycled sewage, we will be
able to recover more of the natural sources. But we must also take into
consideration that all of us need to continue using the water wisely, without
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