JERUSALEM (JTA) –The Sea of Galilee is at its lowest level in a century after northern Israel experienced the driest February ever recorded.
The Israel Water Authority reports that the large freshwater lake, also known as Lake Kinneret, is 20 centimeters below the line experts consider acceptable for water quality. The sea received only 10 percent of its average rainfall in February.
The low level affects agriculture, wildlife and the environment, according to the authority, which has nearly completely halted pumping water from the Kinneret.
The water shortage in Israel’s north is expected to get worse in the summer, according to reports.
Other areas of Israel receive water from five desalination plants that take water from the Mediterranean Sea. Residents of the Galilee area have objected to a planned desalination plant.
Southern Israel received 90 to 120 percent of its average rainfall this year.