Israel facing water shortage

Monday, July 02, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

Israel will likely not be able to meet its 2008 water demands if winter rainfall levels continue to decrease, warned a leading water expert last week.

In a lecture at Hebrew University, Ha'aretz quoted Water Authority Council head Prof. Uri Shani as urging the government to rapidly implement water desalination plans.

Shani cited decreasing rainfall, major evaporation of the Sea of Galilee and contamination of Israel's main mountain aquifers as the primary causes of Israel's mounting water problem.

The water issue has also played a prominent role in diplomatic negotiations, as Arab demands that Israel surrender the mountains of Samaria and the Golan Heights would put the sources of about one-half of all Israel's supply of fresh water in the hands of its enemies.

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