Israel is facing an impending water crisis of potentially major proportions due to severe water scarcity and increasing degradation of water quality. By 1981 all of the country's known replenishable fresh water resources were being utilized with severe over pumping of the ground water. The gradual accumulation of chlorides and nitrates in the coastal aquifer may severely reduce the utility of this major water resource for both agricultural and domestic purposes by the year 2000, unless drastic steps to abate the process are initiated immediately. Lake Kinneret, the country's major surface watersource, is a highly sensitive ecosystem whose stability could be threatened unless organic pollution is strictly controlled. The belief in desalinization of sea water as some sort of technological “Messiah”, providing solutions to both the problems of water quantity and quality is seriously questioned. The need to reorganize the country's water management system to meet the urgent problems of the impending crisis is proposed.

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