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      Kinneret Sea Climbing

      The heavy weekend rains around the country have contributed an additional four centimeters (1.6 inches) of height to the level of Lake Kinneret, an important source of Israel's drinking water.
      First Publish: 1/23/2005, 3:49 PM / Last Update: 1/23/2005, 2:37 PM

      Also known as the Sea of Galilee, it now stands 210.68 meters below sea level, about nine inches lower than it was last year at this time – but about the same amount higher than it was three weeks ago.

      The annual hope is that the Kinneret will be filled to capacity by the end of the winter rainy season, as occurred last year. The lake has another 1.88 meters - the equivalent of 320 million cubic meters of water - to go before reaching this level. Each centimeter of height represents 1.7 million cubic meters of water. If it appears that the maximum level will be surpassed, the lake's dams must be opened in order to prevent flooding in Tiberias and Ein Gev.

      Several parts of the country have received higher than average amounts of rain for this time of year, and farmers near Arad - between Be'er Sheva and the Dead Sea - told Arutz-7 that they have already received their average annual rainfall of six inches (15 centimeters).