Rehabilitation of Springs

Ein Yarda, Mahana'im Stream. Photograph: Dr. Orit Schotalski
More than 200 springs emanate in KKL-JNF forests. Springs are important hydrologically – as the source of natural water sources, ecologically – as aquatic habitats that maintain a unique biological diversity that is in danger of extinction, culturally – as tourism and leisure sites that attract many visitors and holidaymakers, and as heritage sites – that tell the history of this arid country and the reliance of its residents on water.

Most of the springs in the forests are small and seasonal. These small springs are very important in preserving nature as they provide essential water sources for the animals that depend on the water. In addition, in KKL-JNF forests there are also large springs that maintain river sections with a continuous flow throughout the summer and attract many visitors and holidaymakers.

All the springs in Israel are harmed by human activity. Their water is depleted by being captured and by pumping water for agriculture, the springs are trampled and polluted by cattle grazing, and suffer from the development of infrastructures and settlements near water sources. In addition, many springs are affected by the large numbers of visitors who paddle in the water, and nature values may be harmed by development that does not balance the needs of nature and the needs of visitors.

The Chief Scientist's unit in KKL-JNF leads processes for planning, rehabilitating and managing the springs in KKL-JNF forests. This work formulates principles and tools for rehabilitation and conservation of the unique nature values in springs, as well as regulating the area around the water sources for the benefit of the enjoyment and safety of the visitors.
Conserving nature and scenery in KKL-JNF springs.