Data gathered by the Israel Meteorological Service (IMS) shows the Jewish state’s annual rainfall currently stands at around 71 percent of the cross-year average, indicating Israel has officially entered a drought year.
IMS data also indicates the area surrounding the Sea of Galilee — one of Israel’s primary water sources — has seen only 70 percent of the average rainfall. The lack of rainfall in the area surrounding the fresh water lake is causing a rise in salt levels, meaning the water is at risk of being unsuitable for consumption and irrigation.
As a means of preventing the lake from drying up, Israel’s Water Authority is considering a plan to pump 50 million cubic meters (1.8 billion cubic feet) of desalinated water into the Sea of Galilee next winter.
This is the fourth consecutive year in which northern Israel has experienced drought conditions. Despite the below-average annual rainfall, Israel as a whole is not experiencing water shortages due to its numerous desalination facilities.
For several years, Israel’s Water Authority has sought approval to build a new desalinization facility in the northern part of country, but local residents have fought the plan. The forecast for the next several years indicates similar conditions in northern Israel, with a consistent decline in rainfall.