Sea of Galilee in Crisis

September 22, 2016

by: Ahiya Raved

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Little light knob of a hill in the center of the picture is Susita from a distance overlooking the GalileeFriday, 23 September, 2016 | The Sea of Galilee’s Kinneret Authority recently announced that the waterline currently stands at -213.375 meters [-700 ft] below sea level, which is 37.5 meters [123 ft] below the lake’s Red Line.

The waterline for the lake needs to be four meters and 57 centimeters [14 ft 10 in] higher for it to be considered “full.” However, the last winter was the third winter in a row whereby the rainfall was less than the average, causing the year 2016 to be considered a drought year.

Once the water level gets this low, an island appears in the lake.

Pinchas Green, Deputy Chairman of the Kinneret Authority, said that “the Sea of Galilee’s water line has dropped by a meter and two centimeters [approx. 3.3 ft] since the beginning of the summer. The waterline is currently very low, lower than the lower red line threshold. The lack of water was felt really early this year. We all need to pray for a really rainy summer this year.”

Dr. Amir Givati, Director of the Surface Water Office at the Hydrological Authority of the Israel Water Authority said that “the Sea of Galilee waterline is at its lowest level since fall of 2012. The Water Authority isn’t expecting large amounts of rain this winter, and the waterline is expected to drop even further – well below the lower red line. If the weather remains dry for the next few months, then other rivers, streams, and springs in the Sea of Galilee region will run dry.”

The Israel Water Authority is warning that a dry winter will bring the waterline to its lowest point in nine years, and that aquifer levels may also fall below their red lines.

“The Sea of Galilee waterline is already well below the lower red line, despite the fact that pumping from the lake has been greatly reduced. The amount of water being pumped from the lake is the lowest ever. However, the Jordan river is on the verge of dehydration,” Givati said.

The Water Authority said “according to weather models which the Water Authority has received from international forecasting centers, and also from the Israeli meteorological center, that the worst is yet to come.

Posted on September 22, 2016

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 12 September 2016. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: CSprinkle/ Bridges for Peace

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