The main sources of fresh water in Israel include Lake Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee), the coastal aquifer and the mountain (Yarkon-Taninim) aquifer. These water sources are supplemented by marginal sources, including effluents, floodwater and saline water, to meet consumption needs.
According to data provided by the Hydrological Service, the quantity of water available to Israel, based on the multiannual average for the past 16 years, is 1,175 million cubic meters. Natural water supply in 2008 was only 826 million cubic meters, 63% of the multiannual average.
Four successive years of drought have dramatically lowered water levels in all of the main reservoirs, with the total deficit reaching some 940 million cubic meters over the past four years.
Since surface and groundwater sources can no longer meet the demand of the population and the economy, Israel is increasing its development and use of treated wastewater, brackish water, water harvesting and desalination while promoting water conservation and remediation of wells. In 2008, the government decided to allocate additional funds for expanding Israel's desalination capacity, from the current level of 130 million cubic meters per year to 750 million cubic meters per year.
In 2008, a massive water conservation campaign was launched by the Israel Water Authority in light of the water scarcity crisis.