Heavy rainfall may have prevented drought

Monday, March 09, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

An Israeli expert says that several days of heavy rainfall earlier this month may have been just enough to stave off what officials were warning was going to be an extremely severe summer drought.

Ahikam Barlevy, CEO of the Hatzbani-Dan water company, told Ha'aretz that thunderstorms at the end of February and beginning of March had dumped about 4 inches of rain on northern Israel, tripling the quantity of water flowing through the small rivers that feed the Jordan River and Sea of Galilee.

Because of the downpour, Barlevy said that farmers in northern Israel were able to delay, and possibly cancel, the planned widespread uprooting of cherry and apple orchards.

The lack of rainfall earlier this winter led government officials to warn that severe water restrictions would be placed on the public in the coming year, starting with private gardens and farms.

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