Those who have been following the Red-Dead canal proposal, and all its controversies, know that a lot is at stake. The Dead Sea is dying because natural estuaries, such as the Jordan River, Ein Gedi bottled spring water and rainwater are not making it to its shores. Politicians think that by carving a tunnel from the Red Sea all the way to the Dead Sea, Dead Sea water can be restocked easily and plentifully. Calling it the Peace Canal, they don’t consider the impact of such water as it passes through the desert landscape.
An Israeli company “Strategic Solutions” has announced a new technology that can transport seawater from the Med Sea to Dead Sea, using floating pipes filled partially with natural gas. According to the company, “this is a viable alternative to the canal/pipeline which is an ecological disaster but which has the backing of Israel, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and World Bank. With this new technology it can be done cheaper, safer without impacting on the environment.”
Besides the vast distance, over 200 km of the Red to Dead Sea vs. 70 km Med to Dead Sea, the main obstacle is environmental. This entire route is on an earthquake fault and it is inevitable that earthquakes will cause fissures and the salt water will destroy the freshwater aquifer as well as making the soil even more salty so that agriculture will be foreclosed. The sea spray will kill wildlife and plant life.
They write Green Prophet: “If, because of political or financial constraints, this is the only route to be considered, the only way for this to be viable is for the waterway to NOT be in canals/tunnels or pipelines on the ground, but rather the sea water must be enclosed and transported over the ground, in an aerial pipeline.
The Israeli scientists at Strategic Solutions designed a delivery system of natural gas and liquids, be it water, oil, or petroleum products. It is based on a very simple fact: natural gas is lighter than air.
Hope floats, we hope
Like with helium, fill a balloon with natural gas, it will float, the bigger the balloon, the stronger the pressure to rise. If the balloon is very tall, there will be stronger pressure to rise. If you put this very tall balloon on the side so that on one side the gas is coming in and the other end some is coming out, the middle will rise.
The fluids need to be pumped up, but travels by gradient like your drain pipes in your house. Using this aerial pipeline, natural gas can be delivered from isolated gas wells to industrial centers that need it. It can also deliver water to isolated regions that need it. It can deliver both simultaneously so that desalination can occur at point of need as there is also sufficient fuel, natural gas.
Viable energy production
Or the water falling can generate hydro-electricity and the desalination can be by one of the company’s cleantech solar desalination methods. This presents a viable alternative to the Red to Dead Sea canal/pipeline touted by Shimon Peres and backed by the World Bank, they write.
We’d love to see some illustrations of how this would work/look. And can just imagine Israeli kids using the pipes for target practice. Let’s wait and see.
Israelis like solutions that float. See Geotectura’s solar energy balloons in Solar Energy Hope Floats.
(Above illustration comes from New York-based architect Phu Hoang Office who seeks to address and solve Dead Sea issues with ‘No Man’s Land,’ a series of artificial islands that would provide recreation, tourist attractions, renewable energy, and create fresh water. Via Inhabitat)