(August 27, 2018 / JNS) Israel’s Water Authority announced on Sunday that barring precipitation far above average this winter, Israel’s drought will continue into a sixth year, and water consumption restrictions may be put into place.
According to officials, Israel’s largest body of fresh water, the Kinneret or Sea of Galilee, is approaching the critical “Black Line,” at which point the water will become unpotable. The low water levels have led to two islands cropping up, with one expected to soon connect to the shore.
Though the Kinneret has traditionally served as a main source of drinking water, its levels have sunk so low that two desalination plants on Israel’s coast are now providing as much as 70 percent of Israel’s drinking water.
The Water Authority announced that some of Israel’s streams, springs and underground aquifers are on the way to breaking records for lack of water. The total deficit is an estimated 2.5 billion cubic meters of water.
Officials added that Israel is in a relatively good situation compared to neighboring countries, which did not plan ahead with the building of desalination plants. Israel is planning to build two additional plants in the coming years.
Until then, if drought conditions continue next year, authorities may limit the watering of gardens, and increase the amount of purified wastewater for use in agricultural and public settings.