Lake Kinneret drops by half a centimeter, 1.11 meters from upper red line

The lake is now 1.11 meters below the upper red line threshold, which marks 208.8 meters below sea level.

Lake Kinneret, also known as the Sea of Galilee, Israel's main water reservoir (photo credit: NOAM BEDEIN)
Lake Kinneret, also known as the Sea of Galilee, Israel's main water reservoir
(photo credit: NOAM BEDEIN)
The Lake Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee) dropped by a half centimeter on Tuesday, falling to 209.91 meters below sea level.
The lake is now 1.11 meters below the upper red line threshold, which marks 208.8 meters below sea level.
The Israel Hydrological Service announced in May that the country had, for the first time in 30 years, experienced its second straight year of above-average rainfall with 24% more rainfall recorded.
The Kinneret rose by 3.01 meters in the last rainy season earlier this year, reaching its highest level since 2004, as high as 208.89 meters below sea level, just 9 cm below the upper red line.
The 2018-2019 rainy season was also marked by higher than average amounts of rainfall, with 33% more rainfall recorded. The Kinneret rose by 3.47 meters last year. The last time two years were recorded with rainfall at this high a level above average was from 1986-1988.
The Water Authority decided to open a canal to divert five billion liters of water from the Kinneret to the southern Jordan River in April, with the goal of bypassing the Deganya Dam to avoid negatively affecting pumping stations in the area and the financial costs required to open the dam.
The expectation had been that if the lake exceeded the upper red line threshold, the Deganya Dam would be opened and the water would be diverted to the Jordan River. The last time it was opened was in 2013. The dam had been expected to be partially opened at the beginning of May to prevent flooding, according to the Kinneret Draining Authority.
Until only 15 years ago, the lake was one of Israel’s primary sources of drinking water, as the country’s first large-scale desalination facility in Ashkelon only became operational in 2005.