As the country continues to get inundated with unseasonable rainfall, the Water
Authority warns that the country is still in a critical situation regarding
water consumption, even after the most productive April since 2003, according to
statistics released this week by the Authority.
accumulation has only reached 89 percent of average levels, according to the
data, which compared the results to last year’s rainfalls, and analyzed the
country’s overall condition at the conclusion of this year’s rainy
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While rainfall for April – particularly in the North – has
exceeded typical amounts for the month, and Israel Meteorological Services
predicts even more showers for this weekend, the Water Authority maintains that
citizens should not become complacent about their water consumption.
course the moment you get rain in April and May, it releases you from irrigating
agriculture. That itself saves a lot of water – but the water situation is still
very, very critical,” Water Authority spokesman Uri Schor told The Jerusalem
“First of all, we have not reached the average. Second, the demand
for water in Israel is larger than the average amount of natural rainfall that
we receive in the winter, and third, we are currently following six years of
drought. Therefore, the water reserves are empty,” Schor said.
into Lake Kinneret was successful both this April and March in comparison to
last year, but total water accumulation for the region’s entire rainy season did
not fare as well, according to the Water Authority.
Kinneret water levels
increased this April by 31 centimeters, compared to a rise of 4 cm. during the
same month last year. Meanwhile, the volume of water available in the same month
amounted to 60 million cubic meters, exceeding last April’s accumulation of 27
m.cu.m., as well as the April average of 47 m.cu.m.
however, the total available water amassed in the Kinneret throughout the entire
season was only 297 m.cu.m., compared to last year’s 330 m.cu.m., and the annual
average of 338 m.cu.m., according to the Water Authority report.
Schor previously predicted that the Kinneret levels would fall below the basin’s
bottom red line by the end of May, he now estimates that this drop might be
delayed by another month due to the recent and developing rainfall.
toward the end of the summer we will nearly reach the black line,” said Schor,
noting that the black line is located at 214.87 meters below sea level, while
the bottom red line stands at 213 meters below sea level.
precipitation was particularly high in the Western Galilee, where quantities
exceeded the typical average by three times, according to authority statistics.
In central Israel’s basins, water levels reached average values for the first
time during this year’s rainy season, the report said.
April water flow rate in the Dan, Banias and Tananim springs, all located in the
North, was high compared to the parallel period last year.
“This year the
rain was mainly in the North, and in the Center and South it wasn’t rainy
enough,” Schor said.
Outside the North, for example, the Dead Sea water
level in April decreased by 6 cm. in April, after a similar drop in March,
leaving the saline body standing at 424.44 m. below sea
Groundwater levels throughout the country also experienced an
overall rise in April, with a 13 cm. rise in the southern portion of the
Yarkon-Tanimin Aquifer; but 8 cm. and 2 cm. drops in its northern and central
segments, respectively. The Mediterranean Coastal Aquifer rose 4 cm. at its
southern tip, remained stable in its center and dropped slightly in its northern
While these statistics seem to indicate a stronger performance
in southern versus northern areas, Schor said that this is not actually the
case, as the results are only measured after the authority has pumped water out
of individual segments for consumer use – a process that usually occurs in the
“The water system is very efficient here in Israel.
You receive your water from the taps – a combination drawn from the Sea of
Galilee, the Coastal Aquifer, Mountain Aquifer and even desalination plants,
which comes together into a main pump,” Schor said. “This gives us the
possibility to pump different amounts of water from every source, depending on
the hydrological situation at each one. For instance, you can get water in your
house even if no one pumps water from the Kinneret.
“April was better
than usual, and presumably May will be too, as we are expecting to get rain this
weekend as well,” Schor said, warning, however, that “we look at the situation
as a whole.”
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