Officials: Kinneret to Suffer Irrevocably if Water Not Conserved

Water Authority launches 'We Must Save the Kinneret,' campaign, announces plans to levy 'drought tax.'

The Israel Water Authority on Monday warned that if extreme water conservation measures are not adopted Lake Kinneret will turn into a "dead lake," from an ecological perspective.

The authority launched a campaign to raise awareness about water conservation under the title "We Must Save the Kinneret," and also announced plans to levy a "drought tax."

Under the measure, anyone whose water consumption surpasses permissible limits will be fined NIS 4,000 to NIS 10,000.

At a press conference, National Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau and Water Authority chief Uri Shani warned that Lake Kinneret's ecological system will be severely damaged as a result of low water levels.

"Phenomena could arise such as higher salinity, poison algae and changes to the Kinneret's biological make-up," said Shani. "A situation could be created in which the lake is dead from an ecological perspective."

The new campaign intends to reduce water use by 10 percent.