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Sea of Galilee water level at 27-year high for early September

As of Tuesday, the freshwater lake stands at 209.535 meters below sea level, highest since 1993

In this April 25, 2020 photo, a bird swims where dry land used to be in the Sea of Galilee, locally known as Lake Kinneret (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
In this April 25, 2020 photo, a bird swims where dry land used to be in the Sea of Galilee, locally known as Lake Kinneret (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

According to data published by the Israel Water Authority Thursday, the Sea of Galilee’s water level stands at a 27-year high for the start of September, at 209.535 meters (687 feet) below sea level. That is the highest it’s been since 1993, when the water level reached 209.33 meters (686 feet) below sea level during the same period.

The maximum level for the Sea of Galilee is 208.8 meters below sea level (73.5 centimeters above the current level). This is the so-called upper red line, above which the water body would be in danger of overflowing.

As recently as 2018, the Water Authority warned that the Sea of Galilee was drying up as a result of low rainfall and was approaching the “black line,” below which damage to the water quality from silt and other problems is likely to begin.

However, as of March this year, rainfall had been so plentiful that the water level rose by 2.63 meters (8.6 feet) since January.

A flooded road after heavy rainfall in the central city of Netanya, on January 19, 2020. (Flash90)

If water nears the upper red line, authorities will open the dam at Kibbutz Degania in the lake’s south, allowing water to flow into the Jordan River.

Torrential downpours in northern Israel earlier this year broke decades-old records.

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