From drought to drowning in it? Despite undergoing one of the most severe water shortages in the nation’s history over the last several years, Israel may soon have a surplus of water, a top water official said Tuesday.
The CEO of Mekorot, Israel’s national water company, said that the country will have a water surplus by 2014, news portal Arutz Sheva reported.
At a special meeting of the Knesset Finance Committee to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of Mekorot, company CEO Shimon Ben-Hamo predicted that already by the start of 2014 Israel will have enough water to replenish 1.5 million cubic meters in missing reserves.
“At first we will need to refill the the deficit and after that we will need to start to administer the water surplus,” he said. “Managing in an era of surplus is different and we will need to be prepared.”
According to Ben-Hamo, Israel is one of the leading countries in water management and the top desalinizing nation in the world, Arutz Sheva said.
Israel operates three desalinization plants along the Mediterranean coast that together produce over 250 million cubic meters of drinking water a year.
The last decade severely tested Israel’s water reservoirs as a result of poor winter rainfalls. Coastal and mountain aquifers are depleted and the level of the Sea of Galilee, a major source of fresh water, is still about half a meter below what is considered a minimum to maintain a healthy ecosystem in the water.
However last month was the rainiest January on record, according to the Israel Meteorological Service.