Every Israeli knows what the Sea of Galilee’s (a main source of Israel’s drinking water) red line means. It’s bad. It means Israel is running out of water and we’re all in trouble. So when the Israel Water Authority came out with a campaign about two weeks ago saying that Israel’s water levels were deteriorating from the red line to the black line, that was even scarier.
To make matters worse, last week the Director of the Water Authority announced that Israel is currently facing the worst water supply crisis in 80 years, ever since they started keeping records. And that unless our water consumption patterns (which have increased in disproportionate levels to our population increase) and water purification methods change… it’s bad news all around.
So what do the red and black lines actually mean?
Well, the cautionary red line – which is 213 meters below sea level – is the line below which it is not recommended to draw water. The black line (which is black and scary for good reason) is 215 meters below sea level and at that point water really, REALLY can’t be drawn anymore or permanent damage will be caused to the water source.
Scary as it may be, however, the Water Authority‘s website explains what can be done during this time of crisis. A combination of increasing water supply (through desalination and other projects) and decreasing personal water consumption is what they’re asking Israel’s public to be more aware of.
And now that they’ve got your attention, they’re telling you exactly what you need to do in order to do your part.
Their statistics show that the average Israeli person consumes 160 liters of water per day. 35% of this is from flushing the toilet, 35% from bathing, 20% from drinking, cooking, dish washing, 5% from laundry and cleaning, and 5% from gardening. So the most obvious thing to do is reduce your consumption where it counts – flushing the toilet and bathing. Especially bathing – every minute in the shower equals about 20 liters, so make those showers quick or shower with a friend!
For some Green Prophet advice on how to reduce your water consumption and raise the water level lines (hopefully to some happy color, like purple) check out:: Help Save Water in the Kinneret in One Easy Step, Use a Bucket, Think Twice About Water, Is Your Shower Efficient? and Washing Dishes.