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Sea of Galilee Thriving and Almost at Capacity

Israel’s largest freshwater lake, the Sea of Galilee—or Kinneret (harp) in Hebrew because of its harp-like shape—is thriving and is near capacity at 10 feet over the lower “red line” watermark. And it has remained almost full throughout the summer, a season when there is no rain in Israel.

The Kinneret Authority published new numbers on the health of the lake recently. The Galilee is 16 inches higher than it was this time last year, only dropping about 3 feet this summer.

The Sea of Galilee registered its highest level in three decades this past April when it sat at 13 inches above the upper red line. The red lines help the authorities monitor the lake’s health, especially the lower red line, which any dip below that point would indicate that the ecosystem of the body of water is in peril.

Unlike many countries in the Middle East whose water sources are drying up, Israel’s water supply is in good shape. The Sea of Galilee used to be the main source of fresh water for Israel, but thanks to desalination technology and water conservation advances, the Kinneret is thriving, and Israel has an abundance of water…even enough to sell to neighboring countries.

“We have a large supply of water sources, water sources that are connected to one another by a national water network that is able to bring water from Hadera [in the north of the country] to Mitzpe Ramon [in the south],” said Matan Hadari, a water quality engineer from the Mekorot water company.

The Sea of Galilee is the main way that Israelis gauge the seasonal rainfall.

The lake has experienced major fluctuations through the years. Just six years ago, the body of water was dangerously low. In 2016, the lake was 11 feet lower than it is today, measuring 697 feet below sea level.

Rain and water abundance is symbolic of spiritual life in the Bible. May God pour out his spirit like rain on all Israel!

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