Yarkon River

The Yarkon River (Hebrew: נחל הירקון) is the largest coastal river in Israel. It’s located in central Israel and the source of the river is at Tel Afek.
The Yarkon flows west through Gush Dan into the Mediterranean Sea.

The Yarkon river is first mentioned in the Book of Joshua 19:41-

” וּמֵי הַיַּרְקוֹן, וְהָרַקּוֹן; עִם-הַגְּבוּל, מוּל יָפוֹ.”

” and Me-jargon, and Rakkon, with the border over against Joppa.”

The Yarkon formed the southern border of the vilayet of Beirut during the Ottoman period. After the 1950s, the river became increasingly polluted.

In an effort to improve the state of the river, a Yarkon River Authority was set up in 1988. This represented the first concerted effort in Israel to provide for river rehabilitation. The authority, consisting of representatives of 19 organizations and local authorities, is responsible for cleanup, restoration, and development of the river, making it suitable for leisure and recreation.


Extensive efforts are invested in removing accumulated trash and debris from the river and cleaning the riverbanks. In parallel, administrative and legal measures are taken to ensure that sewage is not discharged into the river, and monitoring is carried out to follow the improvement in vegetation and fish populations.


In 1996, the Israel government approved a masterplan for the Yarkon River which calls for the conservation of the river and its vicinity as the “green lung” of the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. At both ends of the river, parks already exist. Upstream, the Mekorot Hayarkon or Petah Tikva Park, boasts historic sites, picnic grounds, fishing docks and riverbank vegetation with visitor access. Downstream, the Ganei Yehoshua or Yarkon Park serves as the “green lung” for some two million residents and visitors to the region.


The central part of the Yarkon is the most problematic. Stopping the discharge of municipal and industrial sewage to the river is a priority. The new treatment plant for Kfar Sava-Hod Hasharon, operational from 1996, and the Ramat Hasharon plant, inaugurated in 1999, put an end to the discharge of some 25,000 cubic meters of sewage a day into this river from adjacent towns.

In January 2003, the Israel government approved a comprehensive multi-million dollar restoration plan for the Yarkon River.



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