JERUSALEM: Israel is suffering its greatest drought in the past decade and will have to stop pumping from one of its main drinking water sources by the end of the summer, an official said Wednesday.
Water Authority spokesman Uri Schor said when Israel has to stop pumping from the Sea of Galilee — the source of about 40 percent of its drinking water — it will have to step up extraction from already-depleted aquifers, underground water-bearing seams of rock.
"The situation is very, very bad," Schor said. "As we pump more from the aquifers, the quality of the water will go down."
Israel's water problem stems from population growth and an improvement in quality of life that brings a greater desire to water lawns and gardens, Schor said. This winter was the fourth that Israel got less than average rain, with only about 50-60 percent of the average in most areas, he said.
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