Kinneret in summer (Photo by Flash 90) “And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron.” Deuteronomy 28:23 (The Israel Bible™) By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz The Regional Council…
By Aryeh Savir
Tazpit News Agency
Last week’s storm in Israel was a record-breaker on many accounts.
Many areas in the country received between 8 – 12 inches of rain, rainfall which occurs on average every 10 – 15 years. Rainfalls in the north have accumulated to 80% – 95% of the total yearly average rainfall and 180% – 230% of the average rainfall for this time of the year. In the center they have reached 70% – 85% of the yearly average and 150% – 200% of the average for this time of the year. Even in the Negev Desert, where up until recently the rainfall has been bellow average, they have reached 150% of the average rainfall for this period in the season. A continues rainfall period of 6 – 7 days is not common, and in the last 50 years only four other such long storms have been recorded in 1965, 1969, 1992, 1995.
The level of the Kinneret Lake continues to rise as a result of the heavy precipitation. The Kinneret is Israel’s main source of water. The level rose by 35 inches in the past week, one of the sharpest recorded rises in such a short period of time. The Kinneret’s current level has already surpassed the highest level recorded last winter, and the estimates are that this year will be a really good one for the Kinneret. The Kinneret has risen a total of 57 inches since the beginning of the season. The Kinneret is expected to rise at a rate of 1 inch per day tell the end of the season.
Snow has accumulated throughout the Galil and Golan in the North, and in Jerusalem and its environs, and even in the northern Negev during the second half of last week. Such a heavy snow fall occurs every few years, the last such storm in 2008. Other storms in the past 15 years occurred during 2003, 2000 and 1998.
Smallest amount of water ever recorded enters Kinneret in November; further pumping could cause permanent damage to water supply. By Zafrir Rinat Despite predictions of an upcoming stormy weekend, Israel will probably have to manage its water economy with various reservoirs reaching the black line, at which point further pumping could cause permanent damage to the quality of Israel’s water, according to the Mekorot water company.
Mekorot’s chief hydrologist, Dr. Yossi Guttman, says the conclusions are based on the expected amount of rainfall in the coming rainy season and the fact that no additional desalination plant is scheduled to go into operation this year to counter the effects of the drought.
A pipe used to pump water from the Sea of Galilee.
According to Guttman, Israel’s high-quality western mountain aquifer is already a few centimeters below the red line, below which point no pumping should take place, and the amount of water flowing through the Jordan River is only half what it was a year ago.