Water balance of the upper jordan river basin

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Sharing water in the Jordan basin has been a key topic in the recent peace talks between Israel and its neighbors. Knowing the quantity of water available is a prerequisite to water sharing. Many different values have been published in recent years. Different sources report Jordan's discharge flow into Lake Kinneret anywhere from 460 to 800 Mm3/year. The aim of this article is to present a water balance for the Jordan basin for a 15-year period. The years 1977–1978 to 1991–1992 were studied for the basin's water budget, as they represent the present day (1998) land use. The results show that Lake Kinneret has a yearly average input (= output) of 770 Mm3. Israel uses some 800 Mcm3/year from the entire Jordan basin, of which 440 Mm3 is used within the basin and the rest outside. There is about 100 Mm3 for future utilization in the watershed. The yearly Jordan's discharge to the Dead Sea is 220–250 Mm3. Reporting by various secondary data sources is compared to primary data findings to illustrate the great variability of data reporting and to provide annual flow estimates, based largely on primary sources, for the Upper Jordan River.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-248
Number of pages5
JournalWater International
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1998


  • Israel
  • Jordan Basin
  • Lake Kinneret
  • Water balance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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