Sunday, January 09, 2011

Water Level in Lake Kinneret Inching Away from 'Red Line'

Chana Ya'ar
A7 News

Weekend rains have brought the water level of Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) up by 2.5 centimeters (1 inch), the Water Authority said Sunday.

The increase means the water level of the lake now stands at 213.98 centimeters below sea level – still some five meters below its full level.

The level is just shy of one centimeter above the “red line” located 213 meters below sea level, the level that signifies the lake is approaching a point where it is potentially dangerous to draw water. Light rain fell in Jerusalem early Sunday morning, with scattered showers, partly cloudy skies and rising temperatures in the forecast for in northern and central Israel for Monday as well.

Water Level Close to ‘Red Line’

In recent years the government also added a “black line” at 215 meters below sea level – the point beyond which water absolutely should not be drawn.

Rabbis from the Jordan Valley conducted a mass prayer rally in November, leading more than 100 people in special prayers for rain at the Western Wall in Jerusalem and from a boat on the Kinneret. In addition, Israel’s chief rabbis called on the public to observe a fast in hopes the effort would bring forth the blessing of rain from Heaven.

Last February Israel was indeed blessed with the largest rainfall to hit the country in five years, all within the space of less than a week. The heavy rains left most regions of the country with a higher-than-average accumulated rainfall that refreshed the parched desert lands to the south while raising the level of the lake in the north above the “red line.”

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