Since April 3 this year, the Sea of Galilee has dropped 6.4 feet (2.0 m), a new record for the size of drop in this amount of time. Israel has had four years of below average rainfall. If the water level drops another 2.6 feet (0.82 m), all pumping from the lake will cease. The Jerusalem Post reports:
The water level in Lake Kinneret dropped two meters this year, the Water Authority said Thursday, a steeper annual drop than in any previous year.
The hydrological year ended on September 30 with the Kinneret at 214.05 meters below sea level, down from its height of 212.05 meters below sea level reached on April 3.
The Kinneret’s “black line,” newly coined this year, is 214.87 meters below sea level. When the black line is reached, the pumps in the lake are exposed to the air, and they can no longer send water into the National Water Carrier.
In July, the lake dropped below the “red line,” at which the concentration of pollutants rises to undesirable levels.
Since spring 2004 the Kinneret has lost 5.13 meters, which is equivalent to 850 million cubic meters of water, the authority said. That is roughly equivalent to an entire year’s worth of household water use.
This was the fourth consecutive year of dwindling rainfall and the forecast for the next couple of years is just as bleak.
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