On the first day of the new year, the streams started flowing in southern Israel and about 20,000 nature lovers went on a walk in the national parks and nature preserves to welcome the gushing water – from a safe distance above the canyons.
The upright wall, which rises about 200 meters above the Tzin Valley, accompanies the Avdat plateau for about 25 km. The springs at the foot of the cliff nourish a rich plant and animal life.
Orly Gilad, director of the Tzinim Cliff and the Negev Highlands nature preserves said, “We were happy to see the thousands of hikers who came to watch the streams flow. About 5,000 hikers came to the area of the Tzinim Cliff Reserve. Happily, the hikers kept to the rules and followed the marked trails only.”
The EPA (Ashkelon Eilat pipeline), a 42-inch in diameter, 254 kilometers long pipe that connects Ashkelon to Eilat, passes within the boundaries of Nahal Tzin. This line was used to transport jet fuel between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. After faults were discovered in the pipe’s casing and it did not meet the requirements of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the flow in the pipe was stopped and the EPA began upgrading the line. But in June 2011, during the upgrade work, a backhoe hit the fuel pipe and caused a huge leak of jet fuel to the nature reserve. It is estimated that more than one and a half million liters of fuel flowed in the Nahal Tzin channel.