The Regional Council of the Jordan Valley published its annual report with the disturbing finding that the salinity of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) is 30 percent higher than it was just five years ago and the highest it has been in 50 years. This dire situation may be remedied by prayers and good acts, and is described in Jewish sources as an aspect of the pre-Messianic age.
The salinity of the large lake has been rising due to the inflow of saline springs located on its shore and offshore springs at the bottom of the lake. This is normally offset by precipitation, which has been seriously under-average for several years. In February of 2017, only ten percent of the average monthly norm of precipitation fell, and at the end of the winter rainy season, the level of the lake was still below the red line. This lack of rain has been especially apparent in the North of Israel, from where the rainwaters flow down into the Kinneret.
The Kinneret is Israel’s most important surface water resource, providing approximately 35 percent of the country’s drinking water. The rises in salinity has led to a decrease in the lake’s fish populations and an increase in the price of water for agricultural purposes.