Heavy Rains Lift Sea of Galilee Water Level Above Danger Zone

The lake exceeded the lower red line – below which the government is meant to stop pumping from the lake – for the first time in two years

Lake Kinneret, February 2019.
Shai Mizrahi

The water level of the Sea of Galilee, or Lake Kinneret, has risen 7.5 centimeters since Friday, and 1.87 meters since the start of the rainy season, according to Water Authority data published Sunday.

Last week the lake exceeded the lower red line – below which the government is meant to stop pumping from the lake – for the first time in two years. However, the water level needs to rise another nearly 4 meters to reach the upper red line, which marks a risk of flooding.

Strong rains fell in most of the country over the past few days. Jerusalem got 110 millimeters of rain in 48 hours last week, around a fifth of its annual average rainfall.

As a result there were strong currents and flooding in the streams of the Jerusalem hills and the Judean Desert. The pedestrian footbridge near the old train station at Bar Giora was swept away, and within the city there was damage to roads and the drainage system.

The Meteorological Service expressed satisfaction with February’s rains, which were heavier than average almost everywhere. From February 5 until the end of the month, rain fell somewhere in the country almost every day.

Overall, the cumulative rainfall for this season has exceeded the annual average for the end of February.