The cabinet was presented on Sunday with worrying statistics and a number of recommendations for dealing with the severe water crisis gripping the country. The foremost statistic was that the Kinneret was only half a meter above the bottom red line. It had received only 50 percent of the expected annual rainfall and had risen only six centimeters. Last year was officially declared an extreme drought year, as only 55 percent of expected annual rainfall actually fell. While no decisions were taken, National Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer and Water Authority Dir.-Gen. Uri Shani presented the cabinet with a series of recommendations. The ministers were told that a series of short-term and long-term measures was needed to combat the crisis. The recommendations included:
Speeding up the construction of desalination plants;
Increasing the amount of water the desalination plants produce now;
Cutting the amount of water allocated to agriculture and then compensating farmers for the ensuing loss of revenue;
Engaging in a nationwide water-saving campaign;
Placing limits on water use for public and private gardens, lawns and parks.