Heavy rains swell Kinneret

Kinneret

With the current Kinneret level only reached in mid-February last winter, the Israel Water Authority is likely to have to open the Deganya dam for the first time since 1992.

The Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) rose three centimeters overnight to 209.935 meters below sea level at 6am this morning, the Israel Water Authority reports.

The lake is now 1.135 meters from its maximum level of 208.80 meters below sea level.

The Water Authority said that most of the rise in the lake came from direct rainfall in the Kinneret region with more than 50 millimeters of rain falling over the past 24 hours. The Water Authority added that despite the heavy rains in November and December so far, the amount of water in the River Jordan and other Galilee and Golan streams remains less significant at this stage, because it has not yet reached the point when the ground is saturated, and the flow intensifies.

The Kinneret began the winter at its highest level for years, after well above average rainfall over the past two winters. The lake began last winter at 212 meters below sea level, not far above the minimum level of 213 meters below sea level, and at one point in late April came within 12 centimeters of being full.

With the current Kinneret level only reached in mid-February last winter, it would be a major surprise if the Israel Water Authority is not required to open the Deganya dam at the southern end of the lake to prevent flooding, and allow water to flow down the southern section of the River Jordan to the Dead Sea. This would be the first time that the dam had to be opened since 1992.

All parts of central and northern Israel have seen major rainfall over the past 24 hours with less significant precipitation in the south. The Israel Meteorological Service says that the rain will continue today and tonight and begin tapering off Thursday morning with temperatures remaining partly cloudy and cold over the weekend.

UPDATE: The Israel Water Authority announced Thursday morning that the Kinneret rose another 3 centimeters over the past 24 hours to 209.905 meters below sea level. The lake is now 1.105 meters from its maximum level of 208.80 meters below sea level.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on December 16, 2020

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