In four years the kinneret could reach its optimal water level, says Dr. Amir Givati, Director of Surface Water at the Hydrological Service in Israel’s Water Authority. The lake’s level has gone up by close to 2.6 inches this winter, to 699 feet below sea level. Just over the weekend the Kinneret has risen by about half an inch, which is a once in a decade or two decades event.
Dr. Givati told Walla we can breathe easy now when it comes to the fate of Israel’s most precious lake. “We were a little worried in December, that winter had only reached the central region and not the north,” he said. “But last week precipitation was very high, a rise of 2.6 inches and the Kinneret has risen above the lowest red line, and we are a little relieved.”
According to Givati, there is reason to remain optimistic about the Kinneret. “The Kinneret water level, despite all our joy, is still very low, which is why it was decided this winter to stop drawing from it into the National Aqueduct. Thanks to the desalination plants, the Kinneret is no longer providing water to the national system. But the value of the Kinneret is still great: it serves not only tourism and fishing, but also the Hashamite Kingdom’s water needs and northern Israel’s agriculture. “We must reduce the pumping as much as possible, and try to rehabilitate the Kinneret” Givati advocated. We have now marked a new line, the green line, which we are striving to reach. We hope that by the end of this winter we will no longer see those empty islands. We estimate that within the next four years we’ll reach the topmost red line, and then we’ll uncork a bottle of champagne to celebrate.”