search

Sea of Galilee thriving, at near maximum capacity

Israel’s largest freshwater lake currently sits over three meters above levels where water quality would decline and cause damage to the environment

Israelis enjoy the last days of the summer holiday on an extremely hot day at Duga Beach, on the eastern shores of the Sea of Galilee on August 30, 2022. (Michael Giladi/Flash90)
Israelis enjoy the last days of the summer holiday on an extremely hot day at Duga Beach, on the eastern shores of the Sea of Galilee on August 30, 2022. (Michael Giladi/Flash90)

The Sea of Galilee has remained relatively full over the summer compared to previous years, sitting only a meter below its full capacity according to measurements taken by experts on Tuesday.

Data published by the Kinneret Authority revealed that the freshwater lake is 40 centimeters (16 inches) higher than it was at the same time last year, only shedding a meter of water during summer.

The lake is now 3.2 meters (10.5 feet) above the so-called lower red line — the level at which water quality declines and causes damage to the ecological balance.

The Sea of Galilee sat at its highest level in 30 years in April when it reached 32 centimeters (13 inches) below the upper red line.

Matan Hadari, a water quality engineer from the Mekorot water company, told Kan news that Israel was not threatened by the scenario faced by some countries where water sources are drying up.

“We have a large supply of water sources, water sources that are connected to one another by a national water network that is able to bring water from Hadera [in the north of the country] to Mitzpe Ramon [in the south],” he said.

Illustrative: View of the Hukok Beach, Sea of Galilee in northern Israel, as rain begins to fall, on December 18, 2021. (Tzachi Gavish/Kinneret Cities Association)

The Sea of Galilee — Israel’s largest freshwater lake — has experienced major fluctuations in its water levels over the years. Only six years ago, the situation was extremely bleak.

On April 4, 2016, the lake level was 3.29 meters (11 feet) lower than today. The level measured at that time was 212.41 meters (697 feet) below sea level or 3.61 meters (12 feet) below the upper red line.

The Sea of Galilee is no longer used as the main source of drinking water in the Jewish state, with much of the supply coming from desalinated seawater, but its size can be used as a significant gauge of seasonal rainfall.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed