The excitement of Tiveria residents is rising along with the Kinneret water level, as it reaches a level last seen in 1992. Israel’s Water Authority announced on Wednesday morning that the Kinneret rose another 2.5 centimeters in the last 24 hours and the water level is now 209.995 meters below sea level, a level last reached in 2013.
Regardless of the fact that if the Kinneret’s water level continues to rise, Tiveria will be at risk of flooding, locals are happy to be worrying about flooding rather than the drought they’ve become accustomed to. In any case, if flooding seems imminent, Israel’s Water Authority will open the dam at Kibbutz Degania, which will allow the water to flow into the Yarden, which is exactly what they did in 1992.
— יאיר קראוס (@yair_kraus) February 8, 2020
For some Israelis, the Kinneret level is linked to the national morale. A recent Channel 12 News report interviewed Tiveria residents on the link between the Kinneret and the Israeli morale. “The Kinneret is our life, our soul,” one local said. “When the Kinneret rises, our morale rises.”
האמת עם נוף כזה בארצנו מי צריך לנסוע לחו"ל, מים בשפע נקווה שימשיך כך עם זרימות מדהימות לכוון הכנרת, ההולכת ומתמלאת, פשוט תאווה לעיניים לראות אך הכנרת חוזרת לחיים,נאחל לכולנו סוף שבוע שקט,רגוע וגשום. pic.twitter.com/A86cyDLB4H
— סמיר מועדי (@wNQRIpnuLGsDppp) February 7, 2020
Only two years ago, in 2018, Israel’s Water Authority warned that the Kinneret could dry up due to low amounts of rainfall and reach the black line, causing the water quality to be damaged from silt and other issues.
Nobody is worried now and people from all over Israel are traveling to Tivereia to witness the rising water for level themselves, Times of Israel reported. The report quoted Steve Brenner, a water expert and professor at Bar-Ilan University’s Department of Geography and Environment, as saying that although desalination – which currently supplies about a quarter of Israel’s water supply – has made the Kinneret less strategic for Israel’s water supply than it used to be, the Kinneret level is still very important.
— MivzakLive News – חדשות צבע אדום (@mivzaklive) February 9, 2020
“Even if we’re relying more and more on desalination, the Kinneret is still a strategic water asset,” he said. “Having the water there and managing it is still as important as it was 10 or 20 years ago. We have five major desalination plants and if just one went offline due to breakdown, terror or vandalism, that would significantly impact supply and it would be important to fall back on the Kinneret.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)