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The sun sets over the sea of Galilee

Israel Refills Lake Kinneret, Supplying Jordan on the Way

When the floodgates are open, a torrent of water gushes into a dry river bed and races to the shore of Lake Kinneret, a biblical lake in northern Israel that was being lost to drought and the growing population around it.

The water is fresh, high-quality, and expensive. Desalinated from the Mediterranean Sea and transported across the country where it awaits the order to replenish the lake, should it start to shrink again.

This new network will also let Israel double the amount of water it sells to neighboring Jordan under a broader water-for-energy deal forged through a working, though often fractious, relationship.

The Kinneret, whose waters Christians believe Jesus walked upon, is Israel's main reservoir and a big tourist draw. Hotels and campsites line the perimeter, encircled by lush hills. It feeds the Jordan River that flows south to the Dead Sea.

After a heat wave or strong rain, the level of the lake makes national news. Alarms went off regularly this past decade following protracted droughts and receding shorelines.

So Israel built a chain of desalination plants along its Mediterranean coast, putting it in the unlikely position of having a surplus of water, a bright spot in an arid region extremely vulnerable to climate change.

"All the extra water that (the plants) are producing, we will be able to bring it with the national water carrier system up north and into Lake Kinneret," said Yoav Barkay, who manages the national carrier at state-owned Mekorot. (JPost / VFI News)