(ORDO NEWS) — Despite its name, the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel is actually a freshwater lake. It has been supporting the life of flora, fauna and people who live in its water area for thousands of years.
Now, to maintain the level of the reservoir in a normal state, the Israeli authorities plan to pump water from the Mediterranean Sea into it.
In modern Israel, the Sea of Galilee serves as a source of irrigation for vineyards and farms that grow vegetables, grains and tangerines. Hot springs and hiking trails attract tourists and, accordingly, money to this region.
But now the climate crisis is causing huge fluctuations in the water level in the lake. So far, it is quite full-flowing, but only five years ago it reached an all-time low.
Climate change and mismanagement of water resources are causing lakes to dry up across the Middle East and beyond. Israeli experts have proposed transferring water from the Mediterranean Sea to the Lake of Galilee, before desalinating it.
Israel has extensive experience in the field of desalination. For more than two decades, filtered sea water from the Mediterranean has been used. For other countries, this method is a last resort in drought conditions, but for Israel, desalination is a daily routine.
Five desalination plants along the coast now provide nearly all the tap water for the country’s population of 9.2 million.
The new water transfer project provides for the laying of a water pipeline 1.6 meters wide and 31 kilometers long. Investments for these purposes will amount to $264 million, and the capacity of the pipe will be 120 million square meters of water per year.
But it will be pumped into the lake only when necessary. Part of the water will go to Jordan – the Israeli authorities have entered into an agreement with this country to sell 200 million square meters of desalinated water per year.
This is about 20% of the needs of the kingdom. In return, Jordan will provide Israel with electricity. Emirati companies are now building 600 solar power plants in the kingdom.
The need for such projects in Israel was recognized after the last five-year drought, which ended in 2018. This is also due to the worsening climate crisis, which forced the Israel Water Authority to intervene, reports CNN. According to scientists, the transfer of water will not have a huge impact on existing species.
Previously, Plus-one.ru said that the Mediterranean Sea had overheated to critical temperatures. Scientists are already seeing mass extinction of some marine life, including corals, sponges and algae. Even mussel farms are suffering from warming.
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