Debit/Credit Payment

Credit/Debit/Bank Transfer

Below the Lines

April 1, 2011

by: Rev. Cheryl Hauer, International Development Director

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

In 1959, Israel passed a comprehensive water law, making water resources public property, available through a Water Commissioner who would implement all government policy regarding them. Mekorot Water Company was established as a government-owned company that would manage the country’s water resources, develop new sources, and ensure regular delivery to every part of the country.

A constant shortage of water in the semi-arid southern part of the country, however, prompted the construction of an extensive water-delivery system called the National Water Carrier. It was commissioned in 1964 and supplies water to locations throughout the country while recharging aquifers to prevent evaporation losses.

The Sea of Galilee is Israel’s only natural freshwater lake and provides over one-third of the nation’s water requirements. The level in the lake fluctuates greatly depending on its use in the national water system and the amount of precipitation and inflow that replenish the supply. Those levels have varied between 213 meters (698.8 feet) and 208 meters (682.4 feet) below sea level for several decades. These two levels form the red lines between which a critical level must be maintained to ensure supply as well as quality. Falling between the second red line and the black line, which was demarcated in 2008, carries formidable risk including receding shorelines, damage to nature, and significant deterioration of water quality. Once the level falls below the black line, at 214.8 meters (704.7 feet) below sea level, the Water Carrier pumps can no longer function, interrupting supply and increasing the chance that reservoirs will be damaged irreversibly.

The last several years have yielded meager amounts of rainfall, placing the level of the Sea below the second red line continuously since 2008. Authorities project that even if 55% of the average rainfall arrives this winter, the black line will be reached by August of 2011.

While several major projects have been undertaken to add millions of cubic meters of water to the supply, none of them will be completed in time to stave off the predicted crisis. The answer, then, can only lie with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Let us give Him no rest until the aquifers are safely restored and the Sea of Galilee overflows her banks!

Latest News

Current Issue

View e-Dispatch

PDF Dispatch

Search Dispatch Articles

  • Order