Sea of Galilee and rivers dry: “We want to plant, but there’s no water”

According to the calendar, Israel’s winter should have started and brought rain. Yet brown is covering Northern Israel: The Sea of Galilee is drying up along with rivers in the north and farmers are helpless.
Island formed in the middle of the Sea of Galilee Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

According to the calendar, Israel’s winter rainy season should have begun. But the winter is delayed resulting in depleted water reservoirs and Israeli farmers are beginning to run out of water in their irrigation systems.

The Israeli Water Authority has instructed farmers to halt planting their fields informing them that they have used up their water quota for 2016 a mere month-and-a-half before the end of the year. “All of the farms are buckling because there is no water,” said one of the farmers.

In addition, Northern Israel is suffering a drought as a large island has formed in the middle of the Sea of Galilee. The river flow into the Sea of Galilee is the lowest it has been since water measurements began. This year, agricultural water allocation was cut by 20% and 2017 is expected to bring another cut along with it.

So how can Israel cope with the drought? A proposal was made to uproot orchards each year in need of water and to transition towards seasonal crops. Yet with no solution in sight, the fields remain dry. Will rainfall finally hit Israel and revitalize the country’s Northern agriculture?

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