Lake Kinneret ASI-09

Riparian Nation(s) Israel
Surface Area 170 km2 Mean Depth 25.6 m Volume 4 km3
Shoreline 53 km Catchment Area 2730 km2 Residence Time 4.8 yr
Frozen Period None Mixing Type Monomictic Morphogenesis/Dam
Related Info/Site


Lake Kinneret (The Biblical Sea of Galilee) is a warm, monomictic lake, located at the northern end of the Afro.Syrian Rift Valley in Northern Israel with a surface area of 170 km2, a maximum depth of 43 m and a mean depth of 24 m. The climate is hot in summer, with winter rains from November through April and May. There is extensive agriculture in the catchment area especially in the Hula Valley (cotton, alfalfa, agricultural ponds) and around the lake shores (bananas, dates, cotton). Lake Kinneret serves as the major reservoir for Israel's National Water Carrier System and supplies approximately one third of the country's annual water requirements. It is also an important tourist and vacation area, famous for antiquities and historical sites especially those associated with the New Testament accounts of Jesus and his disciples. As in Biblical Times, there is a significant commercial fishery on the lake with annual yields of 1,500-2,500 tons.

Over the past twenty years, extensive limnological studies have been carried out on this lake, mainly at the Kinneret Limnological Laboratory which has recently set up an International Centre for Warm Freshwater Research (Q1).

Photo of Lake Kinneret
Photo: T. Berman