Kinneret, April 6, 2022 (Photo: Tali Bar, Union of Kinneret Cities)
The "reverse leader" project was launched today (Tuesday) in the north.
This is one of the largest infrastructure projects carried out in the field in recent years.
The idea to flow desalinated seawater to the north, in the opposite direction of the route of the national carrier, was born several years ago and following a series of drought years (2013-2018) in which the amount of precipitation was lower than average and the level of the Sea of Galilee dropped steadily until it reached the "black line", i.e. the threshold from which they stopped pumping Water for the needs of the economy (close to minus 215 meters below sea level).
Mekorot company, together with the water authority, led a systemic solution that could answer several challenges.
The first is the ability to maintain the level of the Sea of Galilee, a natural water source that also serves as a national water reservoir for emergencies, as well as a source of water supply throughout the year for the various needs of the economy, including agriculture.
The second challenge was geopolitical: even during the years of drought, Israel continued to supply water from the Sea of Galilee to the Kingdom of Jordan, due to the peace agreements signed in the past between the two countries.
Recently, the water supply to the Kingdom of Jordan has been doubled to 100 million cubic meters/year, which sharpens the need to maintain the Kinneret's level in routine and emergency situations.
The infrastructure solution that was found to be suitable for these challenges was the flow of excess desalinated seawater to the north, up to a maximum annual amount of approximately 120 million cubic meters/year.
After the government's decision to advance the project, Mekorot handed over the complex execution to its execution company for complex projects ShAM, and thus the company once again demonstrated its ability to provide innovative and ground-breaking solutions for the water sector in Israel. The first phase of the project includes a conduit of about 30 km From the Eshkol station area to the outskirts of Nahal Zalmon.
In the second part of the project, which will be completed in the coming years, four pumping stations and ponds will be built in the Rosh Ha'Ein area, which together will enable excess water from new desalination facilities, wells and other sources to be sent north, and this also through the existing national pipeline.
In the last section of the line, from Nahal Zalmon to the Sea of Galilee, the water will be pumped into the river channel in order to restore the flow recorded in it in the distant past.
Today you can see the remains of flour mills in the channel, which illustrates the strength of the flow in the past.
In the first phase, an initial flow will be carried out to test the systems, while the decision whether to flow more water to the Sea of Galilee is subject to an examination of the precipitation situation, the needs of the water sector and future government decisions regarding the flow of additional water to the Kingdom of Jordan.
According to the indications and as of December 2022, in 2023 permanent operation of the new system is not required.
The Director of the Water Authority Yehezkel Lipshitz said this morning that "the project we launched today proves that Israel is leading in innovative thinking and a creative planning approach to dealing with the effects of climate change, while guaranteeing a sustainable water supply, preserving Israel's natural resources and maintaining the Sea of Galilee as a strategic buffer for the state Israel. Today we are inaugurating a unique system, which flows in the opposite direction from the historical national carrier. This way we can protect the Sea of Galilee and continue to manage the water sources in an intelligent way."
Move move, but north.
The reverse carrier project (photo: Mekorot)
'Out of the box' solutions
Mekorot board chairman Yitzhak Aharonovich said that "this is a historic project that will go down in the history books of the Israeli water sector.
The ability to flow water into the Kinneret will maintain the level of the national lake and give Mekorot the ability to control the water reservoirs even in times of crisis."
Mekorot CEO Amit Lang added that "Mekorot company, together with Mekorot Sha'am, have once again proven their ability to initiate, plan and implement innovative solutions and groundbreaking and there is no task that cannot be accomplished.
The climate crisis and global warming gave rise to 'outside the box' solutions, where the project inaugurated today is of operational and strategic significance, and one that will allow us to maintain the levels in the national lake as well as the ability to maintain a constant flow of water to neighboring countries."
More in Walla!
Where it is forbidden to make noise and what is free: a guide to the shores of the Kinneret
To the full article
The reverse carrier project - data and numbers:
Cost - about a billion shekels
Time of works - about three and a half years
The government's decision to advance the project - decision by the Water Authority in the summer of 2018, government approval (Decision No. 3866) in the summer of 2018.
Phase 1 of the project inaugurated today - a line with a length of about 30 km and a diameter of about 64 sol (about 170 cm) from the Eshkol Reservoir to Nahal Zalmon
Phase 2 - Future, construction of 4 pools with a volume of 75 thousand cubic meters and absorption, which was approved by the Water Authority at the beginning of 2019
Water pools with a volume of about 75 thousand cubic meters will be added to them in the future
The National Water Carrier of Israel