The water balance of the watershed of Lake Kinneret and its consequent water level were significantly affected recently as a result of climate change resulting in 5 years in a row of severe drought. Consequently, a called for severe limitation of agricultural water allocation and consumption in the watershed were implemented aimed at protection of lake inflow capacities. Documented climate change conditions in the Hula Valley and in Lake Kinneret include: decline of precipitation (Figure 1) and consequently the Headwaters yields and decline of Water level in lake Kinneret was therefore recorded (Figure 2); air temperature increase (Figure 3; from 1985 by 1˚C) in the watershed and of lake water of 1.2˚C and 2.0˚C respectively; lowering of the Ground Water Table(GWT) in the Hula Valley; reduction of nutrient transportation by river inflows (concentrations and mass) into Lake Kinneret due to the decline of discharges; Water allocation and agricultural usage in the Kinneret watershed significantly reduced; It is suggested that the Kinneret WL decline is likely to be the result of climate change, and water scarcity but not to enhancement of agricultural farming consumption.
Figure 1. Fractional Polynomial regression between annual (1940-2018) precipitation and years (0 = 1940; 80 = 2020).
Figure 2. Ten year averages (1933-2018) of daily water level measures in Lake Kinneret White arrows indicate trend of changes; Red arrows indicate temporal means.
Figure 3. Trend of Changes (LOWESS; 0.8) of daily maxima (left panel) and minima (right panel) of air temperature (˚C) Dafna Station (Northern Hula Valley) during 1969-2001.
Agricultural development in the Upper Jordan River Watershed (“Upper Gal
2. The Hula Valley Anthropocene Periodical Trait
During the last 80 years, Lake Kinneret (168 km2)and its Drainage Basin (2730 km2) ecosystems have undergone significant anthropogenic and natural modifications. Conversion from wetland/old lake ecosystems (6900/1300 ha respectively) (1950-1957) to agriculture development. During the followed 40 years, the area was successfully cultivated, agricultural products were economically produced, and the nutrient flux into Lake Kinneret did not threaten its water quality. Inappropriate irrigation and cultivation methods, resulted peat so
This project, was aimed at Kinneret water quality protection and agricultural improvements while retaining the economic utilization of this part of the Kinneret Drainage. The shift from conventional agriculture to eco-tourism was implemented on the most deteriorated part. The HPR objectives were: 1) Nutrients removal from the Lake Kinneret loads; 2) Creating ecological attraction for eco-tourism; 3) improvement of the water supply and drainage net line canals system; 4) Maintenance of high underground water table and additional water allocation ensuring peat so
Figure 4. Annual Total (three Hula Valley regions) Average of GWT (m below surface) during 2002-2018.
Prior to the Hula Valley drainage Nitrogen was fluxed into the lake, mostly as highly bio-available Ammonia, but after drainage the dominant N-species were Nitrate and organic Nitrogen. Before mid-1990’s, a daily volume of 25 × 10 3 m 3 of Nitrogen rich raw sewage and fishpond ( 1700 ha ) effluents, fluxed into lake Kinneret. The fishpond area was dramatically reduced to 350 ha, eliminating their effluents from the Kinneret loads. Raw sewage was removed from the lake and stored in reservoirs for reuse.
Significant impacts of recent developments on the Kinneret ecosystem were indicated: 1) Renovation of the national policy of water supply by construction of sea water desalinization Plants with total capacity of 650 mcm/y (annually 10 6 m 3 ) supporting > 95% of the national demands for domestic supply. The background was long term decline of lake WL and increase of domestic supply demands which also resulted restriction of agricultural water allocation in the catchment; and 2) Climate change causation of dryness enhancement (Figure 1) peaked as 5 years in a row (2013-2017) of extreme drought. The Anthropogenic intervention in the Hula Valley-Lake Kinneret ecosystem structures was aimed at improvement of human welfare resulted by water scarcity.
3. The Climate Changed Challenge
A steep decline (47% of long term average in 2014) of precipitations in northern Israel    was documented. Historical lowest discharges of Dan (2.67 m3/s) and Banias (0.156 m3/s) headwaters were recorded in 2014 (HIS 1970-2017). Annual precipitations decline of 246 mm (6.2 mm/y) on the Golan Heights was documented during 1970-2010 resulting in a Kinneret budget decline. This decline of available water was approximately attributed mostly (73%) to climatological dryness impact and the minority (27%) to enhancement of consumption. Gophen (2018) suggested 38 mcm/y water loss during periodical drought by infiltration into subterranean free space in the Hula Valley .
Annual yields of the Kinneret headwaters were fairly stable with normal and seasonal (summer-winter) fluctuations until 2014 when the recent 5-years drought decline started . A total decline of 77 mcm/y of the two major headwaters yield, Dan and Banias, was recorded and obviously the Jordan discharge. It is therefore suggested that water deficiency in the Kinneret Budget causing WL decline was mostly due to climate change. The assumptions about agricultural water consumption as the major parameter which is responsible for WL decline  can not be therefore confirmed. The monitored record of water consumption confirms decline of agricultural consumption whilst Lanset Imaginary evaluation (NDVI)  documented an opposite result.
IHS  and Givati  documented an increase of 40 mcm/y of water consumption until 2014 and precipitation decline of 110 mcm/y in the drainage basin: total reduction of available waters in Lake Kinneret was therefore 150 mcm/y during 1975-2014. Rimmer et al.  documented 200 mcm/y as total decline of available waters in the Lake Kinneret-Jordan ecosystem during 1967-2008, Water legislative allocation by the “National Water Authority” was significantly reduced from >100 during early 2000’s to 75 mcm/y in 2018 Moreover, actual recorded agricultural utilization  by local consumers was: Golan Hight and Upper Galilee farming consumption—22.3 and 16.6 mcm/y during 2017 and 2018 respectively. Additional minor elimination (14 - 17 × 10 6 m 3 ) from the Kinneret Budget is also pumped (“Zemer” and “Ayun” projects) from the crossing Hula Valley Western Canal to irrigate crops on the Dalton Plateau (Western part of the Upper Galilee). Conclusively, the climate change impact of dryness trend and the resulted decline of ava
The capacity of water transportation by the irrigation system (pipes, canals, etc) is not suitable for the transfer of 178 mcm/y  or 200 mcm/y  during the 3 - 5 months irrigation season. Moreover, information presented by the National Water Authority confirmed restriction of water allocation from 120 before 2015, 85 from 2015 and 75 mcm/y in 2017. Therefore, climate change inducing precipitation and headwaters yields decline accompanied by restricted allocation was the optimal response.as appropriate management achievement. Complete prevention of Lake Kinneret WL decline was impossible.
The Impact of Vegetation Cover (Table 1)
The entire Hula Valley is mostly plant (agricultural crops) covered with seasonal exceptions since late 1950’s of which 4800 ha are presently tree covered (groves). The 74,500 ha of the entire Golan Heights area are tree covered (grove and vineyard). Total tree covered area of the Upper Jordan Watershed Upstream during 2017 is about 12,300 ha. The decline of soil surface temperature which is attributed to plant (trees and grass) cover which probably reduce ET was widely documented     . Landsat Imaginary analysis indicated an annual Evapo-transpiration of 849 mm for 2015 . Hula Project Monitor Service documented 1376 and 1401 mm/year as annual  and 10 years average (± 10%) respectively . The Hula Project Monitor Service record is based on Penman-Monteith Equation where Climatological parameters are incorporated. It is likely that the outcome of this discrepancy is probablly reflecting lower adequacy
Table 1. Land use policy (km2) in the Kinneret Watershed.
of the Landsat-Imaginary methodological analysis of water loss. The evaluation of water balance that is based on solid record has a higher credib
After the Hula drainage very minor changes of agricultural development (i.e. vegetation coverage) have been done, in the Hula Valley. The only significant modification of land use was a restriction of Fish Ponds from 1700 to 350 ha which indicates reduction of ET capacities because evaporated water loss from the free water surface is lower than that from soil surface.
Water supply for Irrigation on the Golan Heights is precipitation-dependant. Thirty-two reservoirs (total capacity 34 mcm; 10 6 m 3 ) were constructed on the Golan Heights to store natural runoff waters. Therefore, the maximum potential of water elimination from the Kinneret budget is 34 mcm/y. The outcome of extreme drought resulting in empty reservoirs on the Golan Heights, then, a maximum of 19 mcm/y is guaranteed by the Water Authority to be supplied directly from the lake for agricultural irrigation on the Golan. Elimination of 34 mcm from the Lake Kinneret Budget is equivalent to 20 cm of WL. Moreover, maximum storage in the Golan reservoirs occurs when regional precipitation is surplus wh
The evaluation of vegetation cover achieved by Landsat derived NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) imagery are slightly misleading if solid data record of field measurements is available. Agricultural vegetation coverage, and, its water demands and ET capacities are known and measured. NDVI values are relevant if field data is not available. In the Kinneret Drainage basin a detailed long term data records of water allocation and consumption and agricultural vegetation coverage are available.
The Kinneret water balance management reflect an optimization between independent parameters of natural conditions (precipitations and river discharge) and dependant parameters, of anthropogenic constrains (demands for agriculture and domestic supply). Nevertheless, the Kinneret case has a wider significance than regional management. The significance of the ecological services of Lake Kinneret are both, regional and national. The lake water level is affected by both natural and anthropogenic parameters. The management design and the operational implementation are therefore representing the optimal acceptable compromise between Climate Change and anthropogenic consumption. Because independent climate change is the primary control the flexib
Evaluation of periodical drought case and their frequency as SPI (Standard Precipitation Index) values during 1930-2016  indicated 13 and 17 years of severe drought during 1930-1970 and 1970-2016, respectively. Moreover, documentation of 20 meters (197 - 217 mbsl) WL changes in Lake Kinneret during 9000   years did not threaten its long-term ecological existence.
Lake ecosystem services priorities for Lake Kinneret comprised of the followings: top priority is given to domestic water supply, and lower priorities are given to fishery, tourism, recreation and nature protection. The Israeli full control of the Lake Kinneret water budget did not prevent water supply to the Palestinians in the West Bank and to the Jordan State. Hydro-Political water sharing treaties committed partial water sharing with neighbor countries and sufficiency of water supply to riparian countries within the natural sources. The protection of Lake Kinneret existence is achieved without interference accompanied by temporary adaptations to climate change constrains. Insufficient replenishment of the Kinneret storage capacity and lower WL was affected by reduction of water inputs which is due mostly to climate change .
Ironically, after a five years sequence drught corresponded with a dramatic lake WL decline the recent two seasons were heavy precipitation regime followed by exceptional WL increase with predicted south Dam open outcome. Conclusively, precipitation regime is (at least partly) unpredictable.
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