Israeli authorities said Tuesday they have launched a project that is meant to help pump desalinated water into the depleted Sea of Galilee.
Israel's national water management company, Mekorot, along with the Israeli Water Authority will lead the project to create a system to transfer water from the Mediterranean Sea, desalinate it and pump it into Israel's only freshwater lake. The project is set to cost over $285 million.
The project was brainstormed after precipitation levels fell way below expected projections between 2013 and 2018. In that time period, almost no drinkable water was pumped from the Sea of Galilee.
The project is set to address multiple issues, such as maintaining an adequate water level at the Sea of Galilee, which is used for both agricultural and emergency public use, and transferring water to Jordan as part of the peace treaty signed between the two countries.
The first phase of the project includes an 18-mile pipe to Tzalmon River and from there to the Sea of Galilee. The second phase includes establishing four pumping stations near the central city of Rosh Haayin. The project is also set to help reinstate waterflow in areas where it has become scarce in recent years.
CEO of Water Resources Agency Yechezkel Lifshitz, said: "The project proves Israel is at the forefront of innovative thinking and creative planning to tackle the challenges posed by global climate change, while preserving adequate water supply, protecting Israeli nature reserves and maintaining the strategic importance of the Sea of Galilee."
Mekorot Chairman Yitzhak Aharonovitch, said: "This project will go down in Israeli water management history. Pumping water to the Sea of Galilee will protect our national lake and give us the control we need to operate swiftly and efficiently in times of crisis."