Israel in desperate need of more rain

Tuesday, October 20, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

The head of Israel's Water Authority on Tuesday warned that if this winter and the next are not accompanied by above average rainfall, Israel will begin to have difficulty providing fresh water to its citizens.

Speaking before a state commission of inquiry into the water crisis, Water Authority chief Prof. Uri Shani reported that in addition to the dangerous drop in the level of the Sea of Galilee, Israel's largest fresh water reservoir, one of the nation's two main sources of groundwater has also dropped below its red lines.

Along with the Sea of Galilee, most of Israel's fresh water is provided by underground mountain and coastal aquifers. The mountain aquifer, which is also tapped by the Palestinian Arabs, often illegally, is in danger of permanent damage. While the coastal aquifer is also worryingly low, it has not yet reached its red line.

Despite recent tensions with Turkey, Shani proposed purchasing fresh water from the Islamic nation as a temporary solution until Israel knows whether or not the coming winters will provide enough rain.

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