Israel enters the 6th year of the worst-in-a-century drought, for even worse



Israel is entering its sixth official dry year, the Water Authority said on Sunday.

Many of Israel's lakes, river beds and aquifers lie at unprecedented 100-year lows, with the Sea of ​​Galilee dangerously close to its "black line", the level below the inlet pipes of the water pumps that send water from the lake to nearby towns.

Israelis have not felt the current drought as acutely as dry periods in the past, because Israel has built five huge desalination factories on the Mediterranean coast in recent years, which now account for about 70 percent of the country's drinking water. straight from the sea. The state also recycles about 86% of its wastewater for agriculture. Two more desalination plants are in the planning phase.

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But all these efforts may not be enough to make the water flow as it does in the years of abundance. In May, the Water Authority launched a public advertising campaign entitled "Israel dries out again", intended to remind the Israelis that water conservation is still important at home.

To emphasize this point, the authority said that if the drought lasts another year, it would impose limits on Israel's water consumption.

The lake of Galilee, Israel's largest natural water source, is now about 214.2 meters below sea level, the authority said, completely 80 centimeters lower than at the launch of the ad campaign as it was four months ago. That places it more than a meter below the danger zone of the bottom red line. In 2001, the Sea of ​​Galilee was at an even lower level, 214.87 meters (705 feet) below sea level, which was baptized as the "black line" of the lake.

Children play in the fountains at Teddy Kollek Park in Jerusalem on July 26, 2016 (Zack Wajsgras / Flash90)

The black line is a dangerously low level that can cause irreversible ecological problems, including an increase in the salinity of the water and algae blooms that can cause permanent damage to the water quality, and flora and fauna. Last year the Water Board had to pump 17,000 tons of salt from the Sea of ​​Galilee to ensure that the lower water levels did not cause the water to become too salty.

Civil servants now fear that the main freshwater lake of Israel could drop an inch a day before the first rains come in the fall, removing Lake Galilee from the water supply and causing serious ecological damage in the area. There are plans in the Water Authority to pump water from the sources and other sources in the area of ​​the Sea of ​​Galilee.

The water level in recent weeks has created a new island in the Sea of ​​Galilee, off the coast of Kibbutz Maagan. If the predictions come true, the island can still connect to the mainland.

According to estimates by the Water Authority, approximately 2.5 billion cubic meters of water are missing from the source reservoirs of the country's natural water supply. The drought of the past six years has driven these reservoirs and the streams flowing therefrom to 98-year lows, according to the data from the Water Authority.

In July, researchers who monitored nearly 200,000 people in Israel discovered that those who drank water drew up an increased risk of heart disease compared to those who consumed natural water.

In a report published last month in the scientific journal Environmental Research, researchers wrote that over a period of six years 178,000 people of Clalit Health Services, the largest healthcare provider in Israel, were monitored based on the type of water they drank. Half of the people studied were in areas that had been desalinated with water, while the remainder came from communities that made use of natural water.

They found an increase of 6 percent in the incidence of cardiovascular disease among people who drink demineralized water, according to a Hadashot television news report about the study on Wednesday night. Some researchers even estimate that this figure is up to 10%.


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Israel enters the 6th year of the worst-in-a-century drought, for even worse



Israel is entering its sixth official dry year, the Water Authority said on Sunday.

Many of Israel's lakes, river beds and aquifers lie at unprecedented 100-year lows, with the Sea of ​​Galilee dangerously close to its "black line", the level below the inlet pipes of the water pumps that send water from the lake to nearby towns.

Israelis have not felt the current drought as acutely as dry periods in the past, because Israel has built five huge desalination factories on the Mediterranean coast in recent years, which now account for about 70 percent of the country's drinking water. straight from the sea. The state also recycles about 86% of its wastewater for agriculture. Two more desalination plants are in the planning phase.

Receive the Times of Israel & # 39; s Daily Edition by e-mail and never miss our top stories

Sign up for free

But all these efforts may not be enough to make the water flow as it does in the years of abundance. In May, the Water Authority launched a public advertising campaign entitled "Israel dries out again", intended to remind the Israelis that water conservation is still important at home.

To emphasize this point, the authority said that if the drought lasts another year, it would impose limits on Israel's water consumption.

The lake of Galilee, Israel's largest natural water source, is now about 214.2 meters below sea level, the authority said, completely 80 centimeters lower than at the launch of the ad campaign as it was four months ago. That places it more than a meter below the danger zone of the bottom red line. In 2001, the Sea of ​​Galilee was at an even lower level, 214.87 meters (705 feet) below sea level, which was baptized as the "black line" of the lake.

Children play in the fountains at Teddy Kollek Park in Jerusalem on July 26, 2016 (Zack Wajsgras / Flash90)

The black line is a dangerously low level that can cause irreversible ecological problems, including an increase in the salinity of the water and algae blooms that can cause permanent damage to the water quality, and flora and fauna. Last year the Water Board had to pump 17,000 tons of salt from the Sea of ​​Galilee to ensure that the lower water levels did not cause the water to become too salty.

Civil servants now fear that the main freshwater lake of Israel could drop an inch a day before the first rains come in the fall, removing Lake Galilee from the water supply and causing serious ecological damage in the area. There are plans in the Water Authority to pump water from the sources and other sources in the area of ​​the Sea of ​​Galilee.

The water level in recent weeks has created a new island in the Sea of ​​Galilee, off the coast of Kibbutz Maagan. If the predictions come true, the island can still connect to the mainland.

According to estimates by the Water Authority, approximately 2.5 billion cubic meters of water are missing from the source reservoirs of the country's natural water supply. The drought of the past six years has driven these reservoirs and the streams flowing therefrom to 98-year lows, according to the data from the Water Authority.

In July, researchers who monitored nearly 200,000 people in Israel discovered that those who drank water drew up an increased risk of heart disease compared to those who consumed natural water.

In a report published last month in the scientific journal Environmental Research, researchers wrote that over a period of six years 178,000 people of Clalit Health Services, the largest healthcare provider in Israel, were monitored based on the type of water they drank. Half of the people studied were in areas that had been desalinated with water, while the remainder came from communities that made use of natural water.

They found an increase of 6 percent in the incidence of cardiovascular disease among people who drink demineralized water, according to a Hadashot television news report about the study on Wednesday night. Some researchers even estimate that this figure is up to 10%.


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