Israel's Water Situation: From Abundance to Crisis

Thursday, February 20, 2014 |  Ryan Jones

Late last year, we reported that Israel was facing an over-abundance of water after seven years of drought. It would now seem such predictions were premature, with experts warnings that the coming year could see Israel up against yet another severe water crisis.

The previous winter saw good rainfall, and the beginning of the current winter started much the same, leading Water Authority officials to put Israel's large desalination plants on notice that their full output would not be required in the coming year.

A massive winter snowstorm in early December (which is unprecedentedly early for snow in Israel) only bolstered predictions that Israel's cup would soon be running over.

But then came January and February, usually the wettest months for the Jewish state, and yet barely a drop of rain fell in most of the country. Little to no rain for the better part of seven weeks.

Water experts are now saying Israel faces yet another water crisis if some drastic measures are not taken soon. There are not enough months of winter remaining to make up for the lack of rainfall in January and February, and farmers are already eating into the water reserves that are typically only released in April.

The obvious solution is for the desalination plants to be switched to full output. That will certainly get Israel through the coming summer, but as many experts have noted, without a miraculous turn-around in regional weather, the problem is going to persist.

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