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Could Israel’s water reserves run out by next year?

October 22, 2009
Receding sea

The Med Sea: Full of water, but thirsty for more.

The next time you go out dancing with your friends, try to fit a rain dance somewhere in your steps because Israel could really use some rainfall. The country is starting out with water levels up to a meter lower than last year. Officials say that if Israel has another dry winter like last year, it might have to import water and set up portable desalination plants.

Regardless, the coming year is going to be a tough one for Israel’s water crisis. The Water Authority has taken the matter upon themselves to take all necessary precautions, including a drought levy. Per request of the Water Authority, the Foreign Ministry has been in contact with Turkey about shipping water across the Mediterranean Sea. Even so, it would take an estimated 12 to 18 months for 30 million cubic meters of fresh water to hit Israel’s shores says Water Authority head Professor Uri Shani. Officials believe the desalination project won’t ease the water crisis until 2013. Entry points would be at the desalination plants in Palmahim, Hadera, and eventually in Ashdod, which could each accommodate 30 million cubic meters per year.

In the past few years, there has only been 70% of the average amount of rainfall in Israel, according to the Authority. Lake Kinneret is 5 meters below the top red line and it will take a good 600 million cubic meters of water a year to get the water situation back to where it should be.

To read more information about this, check out this article from the Jerusalem Post or visit Zalul’s webpage if you are interested in any of our campaigns for water in Israel.

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