The land of Israel is undergoing one of its periodic droughts, to the point that an island has appeared in the receding Sea of Galilee.
The Sea of Galilee water level frequently drops during the dry summer months and rises with the rainy season in late fall and winter, so the island will almost certainly be covered again by November or December at the latest. Its surprise appearance shows the intensity of the current drought in Israel.
As a recent article in Haaretz states, “The situation is dimmer than it was [during a previous drought] in 2001. At that time water was pumped out of the lake into the national water system, but that has almost completely stopped. Israeli Water Authority spokesman Uri Shor warns, “The levels are low despite the almost complete cessation of pumping water out. If we were taking water out, the level would drop below the black line and the lake would be finished.” (The black line is the estimated minimum level to prevent ecological damage.)
Israel’s growing population has put strains on the region’s limited water sources. The construction of several expensive desalination plants to convert seawater into potable water has decreased reliance on natural freshwater sources such as the Sea of Galilee. Hopefully the drought will break soon and avoid any permanent impact to the lake’s ecosystem.
Read the Haaretz article for more photos and details, including a flyover drone video. (Possibility of a paywall)