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Sea of Galilee Reaches a 27-Year High

September 7, 2020

by: Ilse Strauss

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The Sea of Galilee

Monday, 7 September 2020 | As Israel continues to bake in another record-breaking heat wave, the Israel Water Authority has offered some refreshing news: the Sea of Galilee stands at an astonishing 27-year high for the start of September.

Israel’s largest freshwater lake and the source of a quarter of the country’s water currently hovers at 209.535 meters (687 feet) below sea level—just 0.735 meters (2.41 feet) shy of the so-called upper red line, the maximum level above which the lake would flood its banks. This is the highest level since 1993, when the water level touched on 209.33 meters (686 feet) below sea level at the beginning of September.

This is welcome news for a number of reasons.

In a semi-arid country like Israel, water is a precious commodity and every drop of rain counts. Moreover, with precipitation restricted to the rainy season following the Feast of Tabernacles in October through Passover in late March, the long, dry stretch of scorching summer usually takes a heavy toll on man and nature.

By the time Israelis have sweltered through the hottest months and September rolls around, the land is parched and the water sources dwindling. Yet this year, despite the unseasonably hot weather, the Sea of Galilee’s level has remained impressively high.

Moreover, over the past few years, the majority of rainy seasons have seen precipitation ranging from highly concerning to barely enough. In August 2018, the Water Authority offered a dour prediction for precipitation during the coming winter months, warning that the Promised Land was set for a sixth year of insufficient rain. They also warned that the Sea of Galilee was drying up rapidly and fast approaching its black line, the level marking a dangerously high concentration of salt and algae blooms, which makes the water unfit for consumption and can do permanent damage to the water quality, flora and fauna. Israel was concerned over a looming ecological disaster.

Yet the Water Authority’s predictions proved incorrect. Two seasons of particularly abundant rainfall quenched the thirsty land and replenished the Sea of Galilee to its highest level in two decades. In fact, after years of the water level creeping further from the shore and islands appearing in patches on the once smooth water surface, the Sea of Galilee overflowed its banks, submerging the vegetation along the shore.

The benefits of the miraculous rainfall are still visible today—months after the last drops of rain for the season have fallen and particularly in the fresh water body where a drought disaster loomed not too long ago.

With another rainy season just around the corner, Israelis and many Christians around the world hope and pray that the Promised Land will once again be blessed with an abundance of showers to soak the land and fill the Sea of Galilee to the brim.

Posted on September 7, 2020

Source: (Bridges for Peace, September 7, 2020)

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