Galilee Sea Down Two Meters

Ad Feedback - TIBERIAS, Israel - A two-meter (yard) drop in the water level of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) this past year is the steepest in recorded history, Mekerot, the national water authority, announced Thursday.

The drastic reduction follows four winters of below-average rainfall. Forecasters predict the next two years look equally bleak.

After dropping below the red line in July -- a level that allows pollutants in the lake to rise -- Mekerot coined a new term, "black line," which if reached will not allow the lake's water to be piped to the National Water Carrier.

The Kinneret is Israel's main source of sweet water.

Mekerot has launched a nationwide water conservation campaign using billboards, the Internet and television, appropriately dubbed "Going from red to black."

The government has also allocated funds to bolster desalination efforts by building a new plant in Hadera, expected to be up and running next year alongside the country's two desalination facilities in Ashkelon and Palmahim.

Two more plants are on the drawing board for completion in 2012.

Israel also reclaims 75 percent of the nation's waste water for agricultural purposes, with a goal to raise the reclamation water to 100 percent.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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