Sea of Galilee expected to drop below 'black line'

Thursday, December 09, 2010 |  Ryan Jones

The Sea of Galilee, or Lake Kineret as it is known in Israel, along with the nation’s other natural water sources are all expected to drop below their “black lines” by the end of the coming summer, according to officials with Mekorot, Israel’s water authority.

Mekorot’s chief hydrologist, Dr. Josef Guttman, told The Jerusalem Post that even if this winter ends up seeing 50 percent of its expected rainfall, the water sources will still reach their black lines by August 2011.

The black line of the Sea of Galilee and Israel’s mountain aquifers is the level beyond which pumping is likely to cause irreversible damage to the water sources.

Highlighting the seriousness of the current seven-year drought, Guttman noted that the last serious rainfall Israel received was in February of this year. Due to that lack of rain, Israel’s water reservoirs are simply not able to refill to acceptable levels.

“We are managing a water system in extreme crisis,” Guttman told the Post.

Mekorot has several plans on how to better conserve water in the coming year, and to tap alternative sources like ground water beyond the mountain aquifers. There is also talk that Israelis will have to experience water rationing during the coming summer months.

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