Cabinet adopts emergency water plan

Monday, June 02, 2008 |  staff writer

The cabinet adopted a national emergency water plan on Sunday as the water level in Israel is expected to dip below the red lines this month.

May was the worst month since the National Water Carrier was established in 1964 for the Sea of Galilee, Israel’s main water supply. The lake dropped 17 inches (43 cm.) after a dry winter in which only 23 inches (60 cm.) of rain fell.

The Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth, has receded about 3 feet (1 meter) each year for the past 25 years and the Jordan River is only a few inches deep in some places.

Minister of National Infrastructures Benjamin Ben-Eliezer proposed the emergency program that will allocate nearly $4 million to reduce the demand for water and promote water conservation including a campaign to encourage Israelis to save water, special tariffs for water efficiency practices, fixed water quotas for public parks and greater enforcement.

The program also includes $277 million to build wastewater treatment plants over the next five years, and increasing the quantity of desalinated water in Israel to 750 billion cubic meters a year.

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