by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Israel is about to become the first country ever to pump desalinated water into a freshwater natural lake – the Sea of Galilee – to supply water for drinking and irrigation, the Times of Israel (TOI) reports.
To this end, the country’s national water company Mekorot is building a 13-kilometer (8-mile) underground pipe that is expected to be operational by the end of March 2023.
The pipe will connect the Sea of Galilee, which holds Israel’s emergency store of water, to five desalination plants on the coast, TOI reports. The water will pass through the Zalmon stream and enter the Sea of Galilee on its northwestern shore.
The project costs around $264 million and was devised to deal with drought years such as those which afflicted Israel between 2013 and 2018, when the water level in the Sea of Galilee reached record lows. An increased supply is also required to connect communities in northern Israel to the national water infrastructure, TOI said.
Israel’s Water Authority plans to pump just 300 million cubic meters, around 7.5 percent of the lake’s total volume of 4,000 million cubic meters, for use by communities living around the lake, TOI reports. A small amount will go to the Golan Heights, and some will enter the north-to-south National Water Carrier.
Desalinated water will supply most of the remainder, TOI said.
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