February Verdict: Drought

YERUSHALAYIM -

Israel is looking at a third consecutive year of drought in the north of the country, according to the Water Authority on Thursday.

“Unfortunately, the month of February ended as the Water Authority had predicted, a severe drought in the north of the country for the third consecutive year,” the Authority said a statement.

“We we worried about having a third year of low precipitation, and we even prepared in advance and reduced pumping from Lake Teverya. However, when looking at the main winter months, even experienced professionals are surprised.”

The lowest rainfall amounts measured in history were in 2014, measurements considered rare. “But only two years have passed and already we find ourselves in a similar situation, and the amounts of precipitation to date are lower by 50 percent in relation to the long-term average,” said Authority spokesman Uri Shor.

What about the month of March?

“Even if more precipitation falls in March, we do not expected much change in the situation of the national water reserves,” he added. “This is because the heat waves we’ve been hit with quite often recently dried out the ground, as if we were in the summer.”

Reservoirs in the Golan are only one-third full, and much more rain will be needed to replenish them.

But, he said, “If March is rainy and good, maybe we can get through the year.”