by: Janet Aslin
Friday, 09 December 2016 | In last week’s update we included an article about the drought in Israel that is affecting farmers throughout the land. At the time of its writing, no rain had fallen in Israel since April. Since its publication, the mountainous areas of Galilee and the Golan Heights did receive 20-30 mm (.787–1.18 in) during a two day storm which also saw the level of the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret) rise 1 cm (.39 in). However, the water crisis remains.
Israel’s desalination plants meet many of the country’s domestic water consumption needs but agriculture and nature continue to depend on rainfall and the depleted water reservoirs. In August, Water Authority experts reported that the level of the Kinneret had dropped below the lower red line—“when damage to the ecological balance begins and water quality declines.” Even though last week’s storm caused a 1 centimeter rise in the Lake’s water level, the Kinneret is still 5.03 meters (16.5 ft) below its full capacity.
Meteorologists have been forecasting that at least the first half of the winter will be dry. If this indeed turns out to be the case, it will be the eighth winter in a row where Israel will have suffered unusually dry weather. According to Breaking Israel News, “though desalination plants are currently able to provide enough water for domestic use without rationing, the Israel Water Authority (IWA) has cut water supplies to farmers.”
Posted on December 9, 2016
Source: (Bridges for Peace, 09 December 2016)
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