Plan to revive the Galilee
AN INITIATIVE costing $30 million (£22.4 million) to cope with falling water levels in the Sea of Galilee has been approved by the Israeli cabinet.
By 2022 Israel will pump the freshwater lake with 100 million 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.
It is a response to years of drought in the country that, according to Israel’s water authority, saw the lake reach its lowest level in a century.
The surface of 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 that indicates serious danger. If it falls further to the black line level of 214.87 metres, 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 levels have 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 water [shortages], which have 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.”
The Sea of Galilee’s water levels are dangerously low