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Peer-Review Record

Historical Review on Water Level Changes in Lake Kinneret (Israel) and Incomparable Perspectives

Water 2023, 15(5), 837;
Reviewer 1: Tingting Zhang
Reviewer 2: Martin Schultze
Reviewer 3: Yunping Yang
Water 2023, 15(5), 837;
Received: 30 December 2022 / Revised: 9 February 2023 / Accepted: 16 February 2023 / Published: 21 February 2023

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

This is an interesting study of the Kinneret lake with historical review method. The authors do a good job of analysis and presentation of their results and draw interesting conclusions. I think that the manuscript is valuable and could be published but after a review of some issues.

Line 101: The increase and decrease of the annual change of water level are calculated by the highest or lowest water level? Suggest to add calculation formula.

Line 110: Figures 4 and 5 show similar pattern for increase and increase, why does it increase and decrease at the same time?

Line114: The coordinate axis Y in Figure 5 is inconsistent with Figure 4. Is there an error?


Line 261-328: SAT is the abbreviation of Lake Sivan, Lake Tchad and the Aral Sea. Why not follow this order of Lake Sivan, the Aral Sea and Lake Tchad?


Line 329: add a headline for next section about SAT and Kinneret.


Line 394

[9]: The format needs to be unified.

[12] :Year 2918 ?

[14]: colon?

[19],[20],[21]: The format needs to be unified.

Author Response

Response to reviewer no. 1

1) The MS was reedited and English “polished” by a professional native English speakers company .

2) Line 101: Hydrological Year is from October to September next year: Minimum WL occur in November and Maximum in May next year. WL increase is from November to May next year and decline of WL is from May to November in the same Year. A clarification is inserted into the text.

3) Line 110 and Line 114: The trend of annual of annual increase and decline pattern of WL in  Figures 4 & 5 is similar because both are under the same hydrological cycle but the units on the Y axis are given in different scale units (numbers). The computation of annal increase and decrease of WL see response in item no. 2.

4) Lines 261-328: The abbreviation of the three lakes as SAT is common in papers aimed at making the reading easier therefore, I think the use of SAT is better.

5) Line 329: Agree ,thanks for the comment, a subtitle was placed as:

     SAT and Kinneret Incomparability

6_ References 9, 20,21, corrected.

Reviewer 2 Report

The manuscript M. Gophen “Historical Review on Water Level Changes in Lake Kinneret (Israel) and Incomparable Perspectives” has the following goals according to the author: ”The long-term record of maxima and minima of WL is evaluated in this paper. The results of WL decline in Kinneret and in the SAT (Lake Sivan, Aral Sea, Lake Tchad) are discussed.”. From my point of view, these goals are not reached by the author.


Basically, a paper on the changes of the water level of Lake Kinneret would fit very well into the scope of Water while I am not sure if the comparison with Lake Sevan, Aral Sea and Lake Tshad and a discussion of their comparability really makes sense. In its current state, the manuscript is not acceptable for publication. Therefore, I recommend rejection with invitation for resubmission after full revision. Below, I explain why the quality and content of the manuscript is not good enough from my point of view.


After a very short section Introduction, the author immediately placed the section Results and Discussion. The description of the studied system is totally missing. Only few and incomplete information is provided in the section Results and Discussion. This might be acceptable for a national journal where all readers know the discussed system very well. For an international journal, the description of the system is essential. The international readership hardly can know the details of Lake Kinneret, the National Water Carrier (including the meaning of the term) etc. The following information has to be provided by the author in a section Study area: (a) morphometric data of Lake Kinneret, (b) a map showing the location of Lake Kinneret and also all relevant elements of the discussed system (dam, Jordan River and its catchment, National Water Carrier etc.), (c) the basics of the water balance of Lake Kinneret (e.g. under the initially given natural conditions), (d) basic informations on the climate in the catchment of Lake Kinneret. There should also be a table listing the chronology of the relevant measures having an impact on the water level of Lake Kinneret (e.g. dam construction and strategy of its operation, implementation and operation of National Water Carrier, transfer of desalinated sea water, etc.). Finally, the used statistical methods have to be described, at least via proper references.


Presenting only the minima and the maxima and the yearly changes between them is not enough. A meaningful discussion requires the presentation of the changes of all elements of the water balance over time. There is a recent paper of the author on the water balance (Gophen et al.: Climate and Water Balance Changes in the Kinneret Watershed: A Review. Open Journal of Modern Hydrology, 2020, 10, 21-29). Unfortunately, its quality is not good enough to provide all needed information. Furthermore, the motivation of the diverse management actions relevant for the water level of Lake Kinnret have to be presented. This would allow readers to learn from the management of Lake Kinneret, how good management can avoid disastrous decline of the water level like e.g. in the Aral Sea. A very valuable addition could also be a discussion of the consequences of the water level management for the water quality of Lake Kinneret. Diverse studies on that have been published and could be summarized and combined. Basically the author with his exceptional experience has the potential to prepare such very valuable manuscript. I wonder why he didn’t.


It seems that there are discussions that Lake Sevan, Aral Sea and Lake Tshad are comparable to Lake Kinneret since all of them experienced considerable decline of the water level because of water abstraction from the inflows and from the lakes. From my point of view, the differences between all these lakes are obvious due to size, salinity and, as discussed by the author, the dimension of water level decline. From my point of view, this part of the manuscript is not of interest for an international readership. However, I would like to add two more comments on the comparison of the lakes as presented by the author: (1) To my knowledge, the spelling of Lake Sevan is not “Sivan” as used by the author. (2) While the author used several recent publications on Aral Sea and Lake Tshad, he cited only one older paper on Lake Sevan. There are better, more recent references available which include the increase of the water level of Lake Sevan since 2003 (ca. 3 m; see two examples below). This highly relevant management action has: not been noticed by the author obviously.

Wilkinson IP, 2020. Lake Sevan: Evolution, biotic variability and ecological degradation, p. 35-63. In: S. Minsche (ed.), Large Asian lakes in a changing world. Springer, Cham.

Gabrielyan B, Khosrovyan A, Schultze M. A review of anthropogenic stressors on Lake Sevan, Armenia. J. Limnol. 2022;81(s1):2061

Author Response

Response to reviewer no 2:

  • Additional section entitled as Study site is insert into the text with the following information:
  • Geographical map, National Water Carrier, Hula Valley drainage, South Dam construction, Lake Water Balance, morphometric features, history of man - made intervention, climate condition.
  • Additional section considering statistical methods and respective reference WL legislations, salt removal and desalinization project.
  • Considering of the reviewer comment about the incomparability of SAT with Lake Kinneret is fully and warmly accepted by the author. Therefore this issue is a key topic in the rational of the conceptual attitude and discussed in the MS.
  • The incomparability of SAT to Lake Kinneret contribute a significant issue to a disputed consideration about WL management.
  • More information about Lake Sevan (with the two references) is warmly appreciated and included in the respective section as well as the corrected version of the name of Lake Sevan.
  • The hydrological management that was achieved in L. Sevan (LS) between 1930-2001 (71 years !!!) is not possible and therefore not relevant to L. Kinneret (LK)In Sevan WL decline continued 71 years and 19.22 meters amplitude, whilst in LK, as a result of change of climate conditions, not longer than 1-3 years and 1-2 meters amplitude. In Lk WL below 215 mbsl is not possible (in activation of NWC pumps) but open south Dam is possible for further WL decline but does not make sense. Dead sea support is below negligible and for another utilization the system is inappropriate. In LS ,a suitable technical system (tunnel, pumps, pipes etc.) was constructed for WL immediate decline of 19.22 meters, whereas in LK there are only two possibilities: pumping and open Dam but both are inappropriate or useless or both.
  • The option of WL decline impact on LK`s water quality will be thoroughly discussed in a follow up new paper (under preparation). Meanwhile, WL per se is not affecting water quality but accompany other key parameters which are significantly affect water quality (nutrient dynamics).


Reviewer 3 Report

1. There is a graph on the right side of Figure 1 that shows an incomplete picture。

2. The geographical location map of the study area is supplemented to understand the characteristics of the study area.

3. It is suggested to compare the differences in the causes of lake water level change by combining the studies of Dongting Lake and Poyang Lake in China, or to analyze the differences in the global typical lakes.


Author Response

Response to Reviewer no. 3


Figure 1 was correctly presented

2)n A map of the Kinneret drainage basin was added

3) Comparability with Dongting and Poyang is considered.

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