Kinneret low with Island Photo Vimeo Avi Arish channel 02b LOGOThe shortage of available water for Israel's needs is the largest the country has seen in 100 years.


According to Israel's Water Authority, 2016 was the fourth consecutive year of draught in the northern part of the state.

The problem has only worsened so far this year.

According to the Water Authority, last month - February - set a record low for precipitation. In fact, it is the lowest level of painful since measurements began in the 1920s.

Water levels in the Sea of Galilee (the Kinneret) rose only 22 centimeters (8.8 inches) last month, which is decidedly lower than the multi-year average of 60 centimeters (23.6 inches).

As a result, current water levels in the Sea of Galilee are 16 centimeters (6.3 inches) below the lower red line.

The upper red line, the line marking the body's water level as full, is down 4.36 meters (14.3 feet).

According to YNet News, the situation "presents a dire picture that has not been seen in a decade."

And in terms of available water volume for Israel's living needs, the shortage today is the largest Israel has seen in 100 years.

The available water volume in the Kinneret last month amounted to 35 cubic meters (1,236 cubic feet), compared to the multi-year average of 86 cubic meters (3,037 cubic feet) in the month of February 2017.

The disturbing situation has continued worsen in spite of the Water Authority's policy to almost entirely stop pumping water from the lake.

Exacerbating matters, the water shortage in the north is expected to worsen this summer.

In order to reduce the country's dependence on the Sea of Galilee, the Water Authority is working to complete a desalination system to stabilize the water market in Israel. Already, half of the country's water supply comes from recycled water.

Part of the project included a desalination plant was planned in the western Galilee. The plant was not built because of objections from local residents.


According the Water Authority officials, "Everyone agrees that such a facility needs to be built, but no one wants it in their yard."


Because this is a significantly edited version of the original article published by YNet News at,7340,L-4931746,00.html, Brian Schrauger has been added as co-author of this report. Schrauger is Editor-in-Chief of the Jerusalem Journal. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Go to top