Winter rains reach average levels for first time in 5 years
Sticking to its decade-long average, the Dead Sea dropped a meter this year. It ended up at 423.19 meters below sea level.
By EHUD ZION WALDOKS
In perhaps the first slightly positive hydrological summary in the last five years, the Water Authority said Monday that mostly average rainfall fell during the 2009-10 winter. According to its hydrological report released Monday, the rainfall in the North was about average and the rainfall in the South was just below average. That represents a meager streak of sunshine on a cloudy day after four consecutive years of decidedly below average rainfall.However, the Water Authority has repeatedly warned that conservation was still the name of the game for at least the next three years until all the desalination plants begin operations in 2013. Moreover, the “water deficit” generated by all those arid years has reached tens of millions of cubic meters and cannot be made up in just one year.While the year was largely average, the long intervals between showers allowed the land to dry out, according to the report. For instance, from late December 2009 to January 17, 2010, no rain fell. Similarly, from February 8 to February 25 there was also a long dry spell. March and April were almost completely dry, especially in the North, where five to 10 millimeters fell as opposed to the average 200 mm. That the winter went out with a whimper rather than a bang did not set the country up well for the inevitable decline in water resources over the summer.Turning to Lake Kinneret, water levels rose 1.71 meters. Last winter, the lake rose 1.17 meters and just 0.59 meters two years ago. The volume of available water in the Kinneret came out to 347 m.cu.m – around 90 percent of average.The Water Authority pumped 73 m.cu.m into the National Water Carrier as opposed to 65 m.cu.m last year.Sticking to its decade-long average, the Dead Sea dropped a meter this year. It ended up at 423.19 meters below sea level
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