Environmental impact of multi-annual drought in the Jordan Kinneret watershed, Israel

M. Inbar, H. J. Bruins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Floods and droughts are the most common of natural disasters, and the number of victims and the economic damage are both greater than those caused by other events such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The drought that affected Israel between 1998 and 2001 was of unusual climatic and hydrologic severity; the most serious in the last 125 years in northern Israel. The climatic drought affected the water flow of the Jordan River and the level of Lake Kinneret, which fell to -214·90 m (below sea-level), the lowest lake level in historical periods. The annual flow of the Jordan River in the drought period was the lowest in the 50-year hydrological record. Human interference, water pumping and flow diversion, exacerbated the negative drought impact, causing land degradation such as the drying of wetlands and salinization of freshwater aquifers. The failure to introduce drought contingency planning and sustainable water resources management has so far affected agriculture and nature conservation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-256
Number of pages14
JournalLand Degradation and Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2004


  • Israel
  • Lake Kinneret
  • Multi-annual drought
  • River Jordan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Development
  • General Environmental Science
  • Soil Science


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