Stream types of the Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) watershed

Yaron Hershkovitz*, Daniel Hering, Gideon Gal, Tanja Pottgiesser, Christian K. Feld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Lake Kinneret watershed (LKW) is an important freshwater resource in Israel, providing a myriad of water-dependent ecosystem services. Presently, environmental monitoring of the LKW is focused mainly on water quality and quantity parameters, but neglects biology. To fill this gap, a reference-based biological monitoring scheme is being developed. This approach requires a description of stream types, i.e. clusters of streams that naturally share similar environmental conditions, to help identify type-specific reference conditions and their associated communities. Here, we present the first stream typology for the entire LKW. Using a compilation of data layers of regional climate (precipitation and air temperature), local geology (volcanic, carbonic, and organic), and geomorphology (elevation, size, and slope), we have differentiated altogether nine stream types: small and mid-sized basaltic streams (41.6 and 2% of the entire catchment, respectively), small and mid-sized calcareous streams (36.4 and 2.9%), small organic streams (6.8%), and montane streams (6.5%). In addition, due to its size, the Jordan River is divided into three section-types: the karstic upper Jordan (6.3 km), the organic section of the Hula Valley (HV) (13.1 km), and the basaltic canyon-like section (16.9 km that stretches between the HV and the Lake Kinneret). Although Israel is not obligated to comply with the EU Water Framework Directive, this work constitutes an important step towards the development of the first bioassessment scheme for the LKW.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-143
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of River Basin Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - 3 Apr 2018


FundersFunder number
German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and DevelopmentG-1272-203.13/ 2014


    • Israel
    • Mediterranean-region
    • ecological assessment
    • reference conditions
    • typology


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