Will we see a full Kinneret?
The Sea of Galilee is just a few feet short of the upper read line
By ILANIT CHERNICK
The Sea of Galilee (Kinneret) is on its way to reaching levels not seen since 1992.
As of this week, the Kinneret Authority reported that it was just 32.5 inches short of hitting the upper red line.
This winter has seen exceptionally high levels of rain with the Kinneret Authority reporting an average daily rise of just under an inch a day, which could mean the freshwater body could reach full capacity by April if the heavy rains and wet weather persists.
Once this happens, the floodgates near Kibbutz Degania will be opened and its waters will make their way to the Jordan River and the ailing Dead Sea.
However, following a recent meeting, the Israel Water Authority said in a statement that it could open the gates sooner to avoid the flooding of nearby communities, depending on what point the Sea of Galilee will be at.
For example, the Water Authority said that in the run-up to March 21, the forecast for the Kinneret area sees another 8 inches worth of rainfall, the Degania Dam may be opened.
But excessive amounts of rain need to fall over the next two weeks for this to happen.
According to Amos Porat, climate department head at the Israel Meteorological Service rainfall, February saw below-average rainfall.
However, he told Yediot Aharonot that Israel had received over its annual average rainfall.
Last month, residents and visitors to Tiberius, which borders the Kinneret, posted videos of joy and excitement on social media as the lake overflowed with its waves washing over parts of the city’s pier and promenade – something that has not been seen in years.
In 2018, The Times of Israel quoted the Israel Water Authority as saying that the then-ongoing five-year drought had plunged water tables to levels not seen in 98 years “since scientists first began taking measurements in 1920.”
At the time, the Kinneret was more than half a meter below the danger zone of the lower red line, and just below the even lower black line.