Cloud seeding
Cloud seedingiStock

The level of the Kinneret (Sea of ​​Galilee) has risen by half a centimeter in the last 24 hours and this morning stands at 209 meters and 69.5 centimeters below sea level.

Data from the Water Authority show the current level at 89.5 centimeters lower than the upper red line marking a full Kinneret.

Meanwhile, the Water Authority announced this morning that it has decided to stop cloud seeding to increase rain. For many years, Mekorot has operated a large array of cloud-seeding operations with silver iodide using airplanes, to increase the amounts of rain in the Kinneret.

For the past seven years, the project has been conducted as a controlled experiment, conducted by the Water Authority and a team of experts in the fields of meteorology, statistics, and hydrology.

The results of the experiment showed that cloud seeding operations contribute 1.8% on average to the amount of rain. This additional rainfall constitutes a contribution of only five million cubic meters of water to the Sea of ​​Galilee and the surrounding groundwater reservoirs.

In light of the experiment's findings, the Water Authority's economists conducted a feasibility study that showed that the cost of cloud seeding is greater than the value of the additional water gained by this activity and therefore the activity is not worthwhile.

In addition, the fact was taken into account that due to the two rainy winters, the high water levels in the Sea of ​​Galilee, and the existing possibility of opening Degania Dam, the expensive rain reinforcement operation is not necessary, neither in the current year nor in the next three years. The cessation of operations will save the water tariff over NIS 3 million a year.

Water Authority Director Giora Shaham said: "The Water Authority manages the water economy from a broad professional and economic perspective, to make the best use of water resources while being responsible for maintaining the water tariff for water consumers in Israel. At this point it was decided that, in view of the minimal contribution of cloud seeding in the face of the high cost involved, to stop this activity, especially after it was found that this would not be an essential need for the next three years."