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Some common questions we get asked at Zalul are answered here!

1. Which are the cleanest beaches in Israel?

For the most up-to-date information on the safety of Israel’s beaches, click on the link below:

The Ministry of Health: Beach Bathing Water Quality

2. Which rivers are safe to swim in?

Only the Northern Jordan River is currently safe for swimming. The Yarkon River is the only river that is open for water sports such as kayaking, rowing and sailing. All other rivers in Israel are closed due to pollution.

3. What type of pollutants can be found in Israel’s waters?

Some of the pollutants found in Israel’s waters include heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, fertilizer, and pesticide runoff.

4. Where does the pollution come from?

Much of the pollution comes from discharge of wastewater from fish farms and textile factories into Israel’s rivers and the Mediterranean Sea. Pollution also results from millions of cubic meters of effluents being discharged along the coasts of Israel by means of pipes and via streams, and from municipal sewage from treatment plants.

5. What will happen if I come into contact with severely polluted water?

The extent of health risks varies depending on the frequency of exposure and the levels of pollutants in the water. Potential illnesses due to exposure include stomach flue, ear infection, upper respiratory infection and major skin rash (full body). Exposure to waters with high concentrations of toxic heavy metals may cause loss of bone calcium, and prolonged exposure may cause high blood pressure, fertility problems in men, and kidney damage.

6. If I witness a pollution event, what should I do?

If you witness a pollution event in Israel, call one of the following as soon as possible:

Zalul Environmental Association: +972-3-5762666

Emergency Environmental Center (of the Ministry of the Environment)– 24/7: *6911 / 1222-6911 / 08-9253321

7. How can I help prevent water pollution?

There are many ways in which you can do your part:

Don’t litter into any rivers or seas (or in general for that matter)

Help clean our beaches by picking up any trash you see

Be aware of what you throw down the toilet and pour down the drain; many substances (such as paints, oils, cosmetic products, household hazardous wastes, etc.) may end up in the sea or migrate to your water source

Dispose of wastes in a trash can rather than a toilet

Try to steer clear of overusing herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers. This will prevent further runoff of the substances into streams and rivers

Use detergents low in phosphate. High levels of phosphate in streams and rivers can kill fish and other wildlife

Conserve water! Do not leave the water running when brushing your teeth, washing your face, and doing the dishes

8. There is a lot of garbage on my local beach/lake/river. What can I do to change that situation?

Talk to your regional/city council, write a letter to a member of Knesset or the Ministry of Environmental Protection, or form an environmental forum in your city/town if one does not yet exist.

9. What is being done about the water crisis in Israel?

Israel has two operating desalinization plants in Ashkelon and Palmahim, and a third plant, to be located in Hedera, is scheduled to open in about two years. The Water Authority also plans on drilling for groundwater in the Hula area and East Galilee, and then funneling it to the Kinneret and the National Water Carrier, respectively. Israel continually encourages water conservation, has recently banned watering public and private gardens, and is increasing waste-water recycling.

10. How can I get involved in environmental activism?

There are lots of ways to get involved in environmental activism inside or outside of Israel:

Support environmentally friendly businesses

Join Zalul for one of the many events throughout the year including beach clean-ups, protests, and awareness raising events

Bring together your local community by organizing your own beach clean-ups with your friends and families

Report dumping and other illegal activity

Learn as much as you can about water conservation and pollution prevention because the more you know, the more you can help inform others

Visit Israel’s Ministry of Environment webpage to learn more about other organizations working to protect the environment in Israel

11. I love coral reefs, but I am worried about damaging them while diving. Do you have any diving tips?

There are many precautions you can take when diving to ensure that you keep the coral reef safe from harm:

Coral is extremely delicate and even the lightest touch can destroy it

Make sure all diving gear is firmly fastened so that it cannot catch onto or damage corals

Do not remove anything living or dead out of the sea

Avoid wearing gloves and kneepads when diving in a coral reef

Set an example for other divers and help them be aware of protecting the reefs

Helpful Links:

Map of beaches (Updated every 48 hours) :

English Website

Hebrew Website

Ministry of Environmental Protection:

English Website

Hebrew Website

Ministry of Health:

English Website

Hebrew Website


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