Israeli Cabinet ministers have dedicated 30 million dollars to replenishing the sea of Galilee – their largest inland body of water (as well as several streams to the North) using desalinated water from the Mediterranean. This decision has come after 5 consecutive years of drought.
The country will be pumping water off the coast of kinneret, a small town next to the Mediterranean sea that is home to Sorek station – the worlds largest and most advanced desalination plant
The plan also includes two new dasalination plants, one off the coast of Galilee and a newer extension of Sorek, named after the biblical valley further inland. They would like to begin pumping water in to Kinneret (sorek) next year with hopes of increasing water levels to 100 million cubic meters over the course of 4 years
Israel has 3 desalination plants which provide the country with 70% of their fresh water.
Prime Minister Netanyahu explained:
“Today the cabinet will approve an urgent plan to deal with the drought problem. This problem stems from climatic changes and other reasons. 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, also in the new era. But thanks to technology, initiatives and creativity, we have succeeded in overcoming it,” Netanyahu said.
“But it also has two special, unusual elements: One, the channeling of desalinated water to the Kinneret. Usually we pump water from the Kinneret and bring to various parts of the country. Here we are bringing desalinated water to the Kinneret because as we desalinate water on the coast in the water it goes to waste because there is no use for it. Now we are turning the Kinneret into a reservoir for desalinated water. This is innovative and important, at least to the extent we are doing this, and has not been done until now,” he explained.
The main concern here being that water of the coast of kinneret will drop lower then 705 metres beneath sea level upon which, according to authorities, Israels main source of fresh water could be irreparably damaged. Right now it is sitting around 690 feet or just 15 feet above that line.
Cycles of drought have stricken Israel before and scientists believe they unfurl like clockwork. The last droughts to strike the region were 120 000 and 10 000 years ago,the former lasted 3000 years. According to them the next lengthy drought is overdue – citing articulations of the Milankovitch cycle, a series of wobbling gravitational movements that “aim” our polar axis at different parts of the sky over the course of many millenia.
120 000 years ago the northern hemisphere was most near to the sun in winter and furthest in summer, that is currently the case now in the present as well. However, scientists also clarify that it is difficult to make predictions based on the immense complexity of the space weather/earth weather system – including the uncharted territory of excess carbon emission which they believe may accelerate environmental changes.