Drinking water supply: Why Israel pumps water from the Mediterranean to the Sea of Galilee

Drinking water supply: Why Israel pumps water from the Mediterranean to the Sea of Galilee

Anyone who looked closely could see at the Sea of Galilee last November that something was wrong. Because the usually directly on the water located holiday homes were now hundreds of meters away from the cool water. In fact, the lake's level had dropped to its lowest level in 100 years. Meanwhile, the situation has improved a little. Several rainy months in a row have ensured that the water level is currently above the red line. But on the whims of the weather alone, people do not want to rely on Israel in the future. Instead, modern technology should be used. Thus, in recent years, the country has built numerous desalination plants on the coast of the Mediterranean.

Israel's largest natural reservoir of fresh water: The Sea of Galilee. Photo: By Ramessos (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Too little water in the lake causes problems

These have helped Israel produce more drinking water than it consumes . A pipeline will now benefit the Sea of Galilee. The huge aqueduct is already under construction and will start operation next year. For the residents around the historic lake this is good news. Because they use the water not only as drinking water, but also for agriculture. In addition, tourism plays an important role in the region. Cottages, which are somewhere on the edge of a dry lake, but should not enjoy any great popularity. By contrast, the pipeline could help to keep the water level largely constant.

Jordan, too, could benefit from the solution

There is also an international component. Because through the Sea of Galilee also flows the Jordan. This in turn is important for the drinking water supply in Jordan. Since 1994 a peace treaty has been signed between the two countries, it is precisely regulated how much water the kingdom may take from Jordan. In recent years, however, the agreed amount was often not enough, because in Jordan, agriculture was greatly expanded. Again and again, the government of the country in Israel must ask if additional water may be withdrawn. Partially this request is met, but sometimes not. The construction of the pipeline could significantly ease the situation. A redistribution of water resources in the region would also be conceivable.

Via: Süddeutsche Zeitung

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