Israel approves plan to top up Sea of Galilee's dangerously low water levels

The sea has reached its lowest level in a century


A £22.4 million initiative to tackle falling water levels in the Sea of Galilee has been approved by the Israeli cabinet.

By 2022, the country will pump the freshwater lake with 100 cubic metres of desalinated seawater annually, deputy director general of Israel’s energy and water ministry Yechezkel Lifshitz said.

The scheme will also rehabilitate seven streams in northern Israel and is a response to the years of drought in the country.

Last year, Israel’s water authority said the Sea of Galilee has reached its lowest level in a century.

Galilee, which is also known as Lake Kinneret, is currently at 213.46 metres (689 feet) below sea level, placing it beyond the red line level, which indicates serious danger. If it falls further to the black line level of 214.87, it could face permanent ecological damage, JTA reported.

A decade ago, the lake was the country’s largest freshwater reserve, providing 400 million cubic metres a year.

But following a succession of dry winters, its level has shrunk to such a degree that only 30-40 million cubic metres can be retrieved.

“Over the years Israel has shown an amazing ability to deal with the water problem, which has caused endless conflicts in our region for thousands of years,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.

“But thanks to technology, initiatives and creativity, we have succeeded in overcoming it.” 

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive