Israel’s Cabinet approved, June 9, a $30 Million USD initiative to replenish water levels in the Sea of Galilee (also known as Lake Kinneret) with desalinated water.
By 2022, the country will pump up to 100 million cubic meters of desalinated seawater annually directly into the lake.
“This strategic plan will address the exceptional situation of the last five years of continuous drought, which has brought Israel’s water economy to the greatest natural water shortage in the past 100 years and the water resources in the north to an unprecedented low,” Water and Energy minister Yuval Steinitz said.
The project will also rehabilitate seven streams in northern Israel and is a response to the years of drought in the country, including the Kishon, Hadera and Zippori streams with desalinated water. Increased flow into the streams and the lake may also allow more water to run through the Jordan River to the receding Dead Sea.
A five-year-long drought in Israel has depleted water tables to the lowest levels since scientists first began taking measurements in 1920.
“Over the years Israel has shown an amazing ability to deal with the water problem, which has caused endless conflicts in our region for thousands of years,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. “But thanks to technology, initiatives and creativity, we have succeeded in overcoming it.”