JERUSALEM – Drought and water shortages are plaguing nations all around the world. Blame it on whatever you choose, the need to provide adequate amounts of clean, sweet, potable water must be addressed before the local and regional water crises become a global, life-threatening crisis.
Israel faces a potential crisis as the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus invited Peter to walk on the water with Him, has reached a 100-year low after several seasons of drought. That’s a problem because, just 10 years ago, the sea, now known as Lake Kinneret, was Israel’s largest freshwater reserve, providing 400 million cubic meters of water per year.
At its current, drought-reduced level, it is able to supply only 30 to 40 million – just one-tenth of the amount Israel has been accustomed to. The chart shows just how dramatic the decline of the water level is. The sea is normally 208.8 meters below sea level.
- Red Line 1 is the optimal level at 208.8 meters below sea level.
- Red Line 2 is the point the point where the water quality of the water begins to decline, and the ecological balance is in jeopardy. Once the water reaches this level, the law forbids the public or private use of the water.
- The light blue line is the current level of the sea (as of 21 June 2018).
- The black line is the point at which the water surface is below the pipes used to distribute the water through the delivery systems. At this point the water delivery system is inoperable.
The extent of the problem is obvious. What is Israel doing about it?
Pioneers in desalination, the Israeli government has begun pumping desalinated water from its Mediterranean coast to Lake Kinneret. In effect, Israel is using the lake as a reservoir for the abundance of sweet water that it is able to produce at its massive desalination plants in a magnitude that has never been attempted before anywhere in the world.
The rest of the story, as the late, venerable Paul Harvey would say, may be even more interesting.
On Sunday, 10 June 2018, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a video to the people of Iran. Knowing that 96% of Iran is suffering from drought and that up to 50 million Iranians could become displaced as a result, Mr. Netanyahu offered to help.
After being rejected with the epithet of “Death to Israel” by representatives of the Iranian government, Netanyahu offered “Life to the Iranian people.” He added that “We will launch a Farsi website with detailed plans on how Iranians can recycle their wastewater. We will show how Iranian farmers can save their crops and feed their families.”
When Jesus talked about giving a cup of water to those who are thirsty, he did not limit his encouragement to only this with an abundance. Mr. Netanyahu has responded with an offer similar to one of Israel’s great leaders of the past, King David, who said, “I will not give that which costs me nothing.”
Pray for Israel’s water needs. Pray for countries around the globe suffering from their own water crises.
- Ynet News, Kinneret water levels dropping yet again
- Weather in Israel, Water level of the Lake Kinneret
- CBN, Drought Battle: Israel to Use Desalinated Water to Rescue the Sea of Galilee
- The Journal, Shrinking Sea of Galilee set for top-up after lowest water levels in 100 years reported
- The Jewish Chronical, Israel approves plan to top up Sea of Galilee’s dangerously low water levels
- The Times of Israel, Netanyahu offers Israeli water tech to Iran
- By Immanuel Giel [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons