Using a GIS transfer model to evaluate pollutant loads in the Lake Kinneret watershed, Israel

D. Markel, Francesca Somma, B. M. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) is the only large surface water body in Israel, encompassing an area of 167 km2 and supplying some 30% of the country's fresh water. Pollution from anthropogenic sources and water abstraction for domestic and agricultural uses has long been threatening the water quality of the lake. Point-source pollution in the watershed has decreased drastically with the development of wastewater treatment. However, diffuse pollution from agricultural activities is still an unresolved issue. In this paper we present an application of AVGWLF (a GIS-based watershed load model) to the Lake Kinneret watershed. The model allows one to simulate daily stream flows and monthly sediment, nitrogen, and phosphorus loads discharged to the lake from the surrounding watershed. Results from simulations yield a satisfactory correspondence between simulated and measured daily water volume. Partition by source of total phosphorus delivered to the lake in the period of 2000-04 confirms the reduction in point source nutrient contribution due to improvement of wastewater treatment facilities in the area. Future management should focus on reduction of nutrients originating from septic systems (point sources) and pasture and cropland areas (diffuse sources). Results from simulations will enable watershed managers to prioritize effective management alternatives for protecting the water quality in the lake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-82
Number of pages8
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jul 6 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology


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