Drought Level Causes Salinity Problem in Kinneret

A panoramic view of the south end of Lake Kinneret, as seen from Switzerland Forest near Tiveria.

The low water level in Lake Kinneret has resulted in a rising level of salinity which poses a danger to the quality of water in the reservoir, according to local media reports.

In order to maintain potability – acceptable quality for drinking – Israel’s Water Authority has been extracting an estimated 17,000 tons of salt from the Kinneret each year.

Meanwhile, the lack of rain portends a continued water shortage through this winter.

In October, the Water Authority warned that the Kinneret was expected to reach “the lowest level ever recorded.” Many northern streams that feed the big lake have reportedly gone dry in a four-year drought going into its fifth year.

Northern Israel has a deficit of 2.5 billion cubic liters of water, compared to non-drought years, which experts compare to the amount of water in a million Olympic-size swimming pools.

They say the north must receive at least 85 percent of the winter average rainfall this winter or face the drying up of major streams and water sources, including the Banias River in the Golan Heights, something that has not occurred since meteorological record-keeping began in the region more than 100 years ago, said Water Authority