Israel’s Water Situation

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For the last three years Israel has experienced much lower than average rainfall. The situation is so bad that the Sea of Galilee, which serves as the nation's main water reservoir and whose normal level is minus 208.90 meters, is now minus 214.16 meters, that is, almost 16 feet below normal.

Revised: 2-Dec-2012

For the last three years Israel has experienced much lower than average rainfall. The situation is so bad that the Sea of Galilee, which serves as the nation’s main water reservoir and whose normal level is minus 208.90 meters, is now minus 214.16 meters, that is, almost 16 feet below normal.

The good news is that we are having a blessed year from the standpoint of precipitation. Yoel Ben-Yosef, of Kibbutz Ein-Gev on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, reports that rainfall around the sea has reached 309 mm. (12.17 in.). The average annual rainfall for that area is 385 mm. (15.16 in.). Jerusalem had twice its normal rainfall in the month of January: 232 mm. (9.13 in.). The average annual rainfall for Jerusalem is 660 mm. (26 in.), about the same as London. By the way, a significant part of the land’s total precipitation comes as dew. In Jerusalem, for instance, dewfall amounts to about 9 inches annually. In most parts of Israel there are about 250 dew nights per year. Many small birds and insects survive due to dew during the land’s seven-month dry season.


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  • David N. Bivin

    David N. Bivin
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    David N. Bivin is founder and editor of Jerusalem Perspective. A native of Cleveland, Oklahoma, U.S.A., Bivin has lived in Israel since 1963, when he came to Jerusalem on a Rotary Foundation Fellowship to do postgraduate work at the Hebrew University. He studied at the Hebrew…
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