Saturday, October 31, 2009

When Asking For Water, Careful What You Wish For

The ongoing drought in Israel, and indeed in the wider region, has been of great concern. Water levels in Israels main natural reservoir, the Sea of Galilee (the Kinneret) are well below a "comfortable" level and the Israeli government was considering drastic measures.

One of these drastic measures is even proving to be a major political lightning rod. It's a new "drought tax" on water which is intended to both curb water use and waste and to levy funds to help construct desalinization facilities.

Very recently, Israel was his with major rain storms. Rain in the Middle East, or at least in Israel, is big news, especially in a drought. While the rain did raise the water level in the Kinneret a paltry couple of centimeters (but still a significant amount given the recent water levels) it also brought with it considerable hardship. Pictures of some of the flooding the storms caused is quite remarkable while in even more tragic circumstances a tourist in Israel was killed as a result of the storms.

The rain also required memorial services for the cowardly assassination of former Israeli Prime Minister Rabin to be postponed.

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