Another Bad Month for Israel's Water Resources

Israel's dwindling water resources did not improve in December, according to the figures of the Hydrological Service. The service reports that to fill the deficit created this year in the Kinneret, from now until the end of the winter rains 25 percent above the multi-annual average will be needed, which has only a 20 percent chance of happening.

The Water Authority has formulated various steps to deal with the situation, which for now, do not include water supply cuts or decreasing pressure in pipes.

The level of water in the Kinneret has risen by six centimeters; however this was mainly due to rain directly on the lake rather than from streams, which are the main source of increase.

Since October, the Kinneret has received less than one-fifth of the multi-annual average for this period.

In most of the country, rainfall was 75 percent to 85 percent of the average.

The Water Authority reported to the state committee of inquiry on water management that it has saved almost 50 million cubic meters by encouraging water thrift, reversing the rising usage trend for the first time in five years.

The authority has so far this year also kept agricultural usage to below its allocation in 2008 of about 510 million cubic meters.

The authority plans to continue drilling for water, reopen old wells and prohibit the watering of lawns. A prohibition against all watering of gardens is not currently being considered. Water cutoffs are also not an option at the moment because of the risk of pollutants entering the pipelines. Reducing pressure, the authority said, is also not under consideration because of monitoring and enforcement difficulties.