Report: Slow-down in Drop of Dead Sea Water Level

Increased flow of rainwater from nearby wadis contributed to the improvement.

Zafrir Rinat
Zafrir Rinat
Zafrir Rinat
Zafrir Rinat

The level of the Dead Sea continues to drop, though at a slower rate. The sea level fell by one meter this year, compared to 1.5 meters last year and 1.25 meters the year before, according to the Water Authority, which published its summary of the hydrological year (October to October) on Thursday. Since October 2012, the sea volume decreased by 620 million cubic meters of water. Last month, the level dropped 13 centimeters.

The slow-down is largely due to an increased flow of rainwater into the sea from surrounding wadis and from the Yarmuk River in Jordan. However, the primary reason for the dropping Dead Sea level remains unchanged. Stemming from a decline in the amount of water reaching the sea from the Jordan River, the level of the Dead Sea has steadily fallen at an average rate of slightly over one meter annually. Among other effects, the process has exposed large areas affected by sinkholes.

In terms of other sources of water, the news is brighter. While the level of the Sea of Galilee dropped by 26 centimeters this past month, it rose by 1.22 meters overall this year. The freshwater lake’s volume increased by 504 million cubic meters of water, the largest gain in the last decade.

Levels of Israel’s most important groundwater sources - the Yarkon-Taninim Aquifer (also called the Western Mountain Aquifer) and the coastal aquifer - improved. The level of the Yarkon-Taninim Aquifer rose in all areas compared to last year, gaining, for example, 1.5 meters in its northern part. Similar trends were noted in the coastal aquifer. The gains made by the Sea of Galilee and the aquifers can be attributed to the relatively large amounts of rainfall this past year, as well as to the increasing use of desalinated seawater.

The Dead Sea.Credit: Daniel Bar-On

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