As rainstorms barreled through Israel in December, drenching fields and filling up reservoirs, the Dead Sea’s water level continued to drop.
By early January, the Dead Sea fell to 427.82 meters below sea level, three centimeters lower than the 427.79 m. below sea level measured the month before, according to Dead Sea and Arava Science Center researcher Eli Raz, citing raw data from the Water Authority’s Hydrological Services.
In comparison, he stressed, Lake Kinneret celebrated an increase of 11 cm. in the same time period.
The additional drop in water level of the Dead Sea brings the basin to 0.93 m. below its level one year ago, the Hydrological Services data said.
However, the December drop was significantly less for the month in 2013 than it was during the same period in 2012, when the basin fell 11 centimeters, Hydrological Services reported.
The slow in water-level decrease in December in comparison to the previous two months was due to the particularly rainy weather conditions – and therefore a significant entry of floodwaters, including from the Lower Jordan River – Raz explained.
The low temperatures experienced throughout much of the month slowed the rate of evaporation from the basin, he said.
Although this December the Dead Sea may have decreased less than it did last December, the drop nonetheless perpetuates an ongoing trend of an alarmingly plummeting water level for the Dead Sea, which lost 8 centimeters in November and 14 cm. in October, Raz explained.
Only a decade ago, the basin’s water level was 416.77 m. below sea level, 11.05 m. higher than the level today.
Taking December’s drop into account, the average annual drop in water level for the Dead Sea is now 1.105 m., Raz said.
While the Kinneret, on the other hand, did experience a rise during December 2013, this figure is much smaller than the northern basin’s 50-centimeter increase in December 2012, Hydrological Services reported.
Other basins around the country fared much better from the December onslaught of precipitation, with groundwater in the Yarkon- Teninim aquifer rising between 13 and 39 cm., Hydrological Services said.
Meanwhile, groundwater levels also rose in most of the coastal aquifer.
The Western Galilee Naaman and Kabri basins featured rises of 22 and 16 cm., respectively, Hydrological Services said.
View original Jerusalem Post publication at: http://www.jpost.com/Enviro-Tech/Despite-winter-storms-Dead-Sea-water-level-continues-to-fall-337432