At the same time, Israel's thirst for fresh water means the country continues to pump vast amounts of water from the lake to meet the needs
of farmers, gardeners and ordinary citizens as far away as the Negev desert in the south.
The result is visible everywhere on the lake, which is falling by between one and two centimetres a day. On many beaches the sea has retreated by as much as 150 metres, forcing swimmers to pick their way across an ever-expanding stretch of pebbles
The small port at Kibbutz Ein Gev has the unhealthy appearance of a pit
, with the boats nestling four metres below the boarding planks. In about four weeks, says Mr Onn, the port will have become so shallow
that boats will not be able to enter at all.
"To be honest, I don't know what to do," says Moshe Francis, the manager of the kibbutz's shipping operations. "We can't leave our boats out on the lake at night because the insurance company will not allow it." The boats will most probably be docked in another port soon, he adds, meaning they can no longer bring visitors from the tourist hub
of Tiberias on the other side of the lake.
Sitting in one of Tiberias' lakeside bars, which now tower absurdly high above the water line, is Yaakov Fadida, a fisherman and the chairman of the Kinneret Fishermen Association.
"They are raping the Kinneret,"fumes
Mr Fadida, who complains that the lake's fish stocks are falling sharply as shoreline breeding grounds disappear. "Five years ago, when I threw out the first net, I would get 100kg of fish. Now I have to work the whole night, and often still have less than that."
The drying-out of the Sea of Galilee has caused alarm far beyond the region. The lake supplies fresh water to the taps
of two in five Israelis, but soon the pumps will have to fall silent. The water level has already fallen below the upper and lower red lines, denoting
levels below which the lake was previously thought to be at serious risk. Israel's water authority has now said that pumping can continue until the level reaches the even lower black line - but even this is expected to be breached later this year.
Gidon Bromberg, the Israeli director of Friends of the Earth Middle East, says the authorities are risking the long-term health of Israel's biggest lake, which could eventually succumb
to over-salination. "The lower red line indicates the level at which the sustainability of the lake is threatened. We are certainly very alarmed by the authorities' willingness to go to the black line - this development could well be irreversible."
Problems with present procedures
To Mr Bromberg and other environmentalists, the fate of Israel's biggest lake is symptomatic of the country's failed approach to water management. Israel, he says, is devoting far too much of the precious resource to agriculture. Farmers, he adds, are using subsidised water to grow bananas, flowers and other produce
that is simply not suited to Israel's desert climate.
According to a recent report for Friends of the Earth, farmers use 40 per cent of the country's fresh water. With much of their produce sold abroad, this equates
to exporting water from the dry Middle East to rain-soaked northern Europe.
Indeed, even as the Kibbutz Ein Gev struggles with the plunging shore line, it is loath
to uproot the long rows of banana trees that stretch from the lake up to the foothills of the Golan Heights. Rather than put pressure on Israel's farmers, says Mr Onn, the veteran kibbutznik, the government should hurry up and build more seawater desalination plants.
"Israel has to be an agricultural country," he says, echoing the national consensus. In the meantime, the price of pampering
Israel's farmers is being paid, centimetre by centimetre, by the shrinking Sea of Galilee.