After 13 Years, Dead Sea Rises 8 Centimeters


dead-seaAfter years of drought-like conditions that saw the water level of the Dead Sea plummet by 15 meters, this winter the water level rose by 8 centimeters, the Water Authority said yesterday.

Water levels have also risen back to the critical “red line” in several subterranean aquifers, for the first time in years, and the mountain and coastal aquifers have regained the water levels of last year.

According to the Water Authority, this effectively means this winter’s rain has covered the water deficits of the past year, but not of the past five years. The authority’s statement noted Lake Kinneret’s water level went up to the lower red line (213 meters) for the first time since July 2008, springs supplying the Naaman Stream have began flowing again for the first time since July 2007, and record-breaking water quantities were registered in streams feeding the Kinneret.

The most prominent rise was recorded in the Saar Stream, where 25 cubic meters per second were registered, as compared to the previous record of 20.4 cubic meters per second in 1982.

The Water Authority made no comment about the possibility of reinstituting the drought tax next month and increasing the volume of water allocated to agriculture by 15 percent. Decisions on both matters may be postponed until next month, to be reviewed in light of the rain quantities that will be measured this month.

{Haaretz/Yair Israel}