Despite rains, Dead Sea water levels fall again in December

Jan. 8, 2014 at 4:29 PM

KETURA, Israel, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Despite rainstorms that have soaked fields and filled reservoirs in Israel during December, the Dead Sea's water level still dropped, water researchers said.

Eli Raz, a researcher at the Dead Sea and Arava Science Center in Ketura said the Dead Sea fell to 427.82 meters (1,403 feet) below sea level in early January, 3 centimeters (slightly more than an inch) lower than the level measured the previous month, the Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday.

In comparison, Lake Kinneret saw an increase of 11 centimeters (slightly more than 4 inches) during the same period.

The additional drop in the Dead Sea's water level brought the basin to 0.93 meters (3 feet) below its level one year ago, Hydrological Services data indicated.

The slow in the sea's water-level decrease last month was due in part to rainy conditions and lower temperatures that slowed the evaporation rate, Raz said.

Raz said the Dead Sea's water level lost 8 centimeters (3.1 inches) in November and 14 centimeters (5.5 inches) in October.

Ten years ago, the Dead Sea basin's water level was 416.77 meters (1,367 feet) below sea level, 11.05 meters (36 feet) higher than the current level the Post said.

When considering December's drop in water level, the average annual reduction in water level for the Dead Sea is now 1.105 meters (3.6 feet), Raz said.

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