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Israelis Celebrate Sea of Galilee’s Rise Thanks to Downpour of Much-Needed Rain

02-18-2020
israel

JERUSALEM, Israel – The Sea of Galilee's water level is rising after a long period of drought thanks to an abundance of rain in Israel.

Since the beginning of winter until Tuesday morning, the biblical lake's water level has risen 1 meter and 91.5 centimeters.

Video online shows some parts of Galilee quite literally bursting with water.

Israel's Water Authority spokesperson Uri Schorr told CBN News the rise in water levels can be partially attributed to "two fantastic years" of rainfall.

However, he said the lake still has a long way to go before it's considered full.

"To receive a full Sea of Galilee we lack a bit more than 1 meter and 10 centimeters."

Schorr explained that drought has wreaked havoc on the iconic lake and many thought they were watching the Galilee disappear.

"If we look at the last 30 years one can see that we have a decrease in quantity in rainfall that comes to our area…every year we get less and less rainfall to the area," he explained. "This [year's]  winter was above average. Last winter was also above average. The five winters before that were severe droughts."

Israel took drastic measures to save the lake by dramatically decreasing the amount of water being pumped from it. 

"If we had continued pumping like average… the level of the Sea of Galilee would be much lower than it is today," said Schorr.

But scientists remain hopeful. Thanks to heavy rainfall in the last two years, Israel will begin increasing the amount of water it pumps from the lake this year to keep up with the tiny nation's growing population.

While the lake is still about a meter from being full, Schorr said "one outstanding rainfall" can change everything.

"We still have a lot of water to come but the winter isn't finished yet. We believe if the winter will continue as normally or as expected, the Sea of Galilee will continue rising but we will be about 40 centimeters beneath the upper red line. But it can change very quickly."

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