JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel is preparing to pump desalinated water into the Sea of Galilee.
The state’s Water Authority recently started work on the $300 million project, which will take about two years to complete, Israel’s Hadashot TV news reported Monday.
With Israel apparently approaching a fifth consecutive dry year, the Sea of Galilee has dropped to dangerously low levels. This has increased the lake’s salinity and harmed the quality of the water, which constitutes a quarter of Israel’s potable supply.
The Water Authority is also overseeing projects to pump out saltwater from the lake in order to maintain its potability. The authority says it is extracting about 17,000 tons of salt each year.
In October, the Water Authority warned that the Sea of Galilee was at a dangerously low level and expected to reach “the lowest level ever recorded.”
The project could lead to a rise in national water tariffs.