Drought in Jordan Calls People to Pray for Rain and the Controversial Dead-Red Peace Canal

jordan-water-resources-rain-photo
(A map of Jordan and the surrounding region highlighting the Disi Aquifer and the proposed Red-Dead project.)

With worrying frost alerts in Jordan getting farmers anxious, Jordanians are also seeing a rainless season this year, increasing their fears that crops will collapse. Last week, officials had been calling on its citizens to pray for rain, a common practice done in Israel among religious Jews as part of their daily prayer ritual.

Since the report of a persistent drought, by the IRIN news, rain has come to the region. So we hope the farmers prayers, at least for this week, have been answered. But, we learn, the rainwater insufficiently filled up Jordan’s storage facilities

By the end of December, almost no rain had fallen on Jordan, says IRIN, threatening crops of vegetables, wheat and barley. Farmers from Deir Ala, in the northern Jordan Valley, said that their government had stopped pumping water to their farms for irrigation in order to keep drinking water reserves stocked.


“I only pray that rain falls very soon, or else I will lose all my harvest,” said Salim Abdullah to IRIN. He’s a farmer with 100 dunums of barley on the outskirts of Kerak.

Water talks has become an issue of regional importance and survival. A conference on the Mediterranean region was held on December 23rd and hosted by the European Union on Jordan’s side of the Dead Sea to discuss ways of fighting climate change and its inevitable impact on water resources.

According to IRIN, of the 19 countries that took part in the one-day event, Jordan was the poorest in terms of water resources. While activists fervently oppose the Dead Sea-Red Sea canal over here in Israel, Jordanian officials, it seems are in favor.

They presented their case to donors with a call to support the canal (which by the IRIN, was reported as a long sought-out solution). It might prove to be the only life line for the 5.6 million population as water resources continue drying, the online newspaper reports.

Implementing the Dead Sea-Red Sea canal project

could be harder than Jordanians hoped, according to Jordan’s former minister of water Hazem al-Nasser. He said political problems among the neighbours might delay the project.

 

Meanwhile, the Israeli minister of infrastructure Binyamin Ben-Eliezer [who is planning on building a coal-fired power plant in Israel] said his country strongly supports Jordan’s calls for building the canal. He said Jordan would pump around 60 percent of the water from the canal while Israel and the Palestinian territories would get the remaining 40 percent combined.

If completed, the Dead Sea-Red Sea project would provide Jordan with a primary source of energy.

Cutting through the desert bordering Jordan and Israel in Wadi Araba, the canal would carve out a natural borderline between the two countries. A total of 650 million cubic metres would be pumped from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea annually.

According to IRIN: “A rapid decline in Dead Sea water levels has alarmed environmentalists in Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories who fear the biblical site might dry up within 50 years.”

World Bank experts, as we’ve read, are assessing the environmental impact. Egyptians warn that the Sinai coral reefs will be put in harm’s way. From a personal point of view, I don’t think the canal should be built. 

For more illuminating stories on Jordan’s environmental issues, see:
Crops Safe From Frost, In Jordan
Eco-Tourism In The Middle East Takes Us to Jordan
Israel-Jordan Peace Canal, Route to Environmental Disaster?

::IRIN

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3 thoughts on “Drought in Jordan Calls People to Pray for Rain and the Controversial Dead-Red Peace Canal”

  1. Mosh Munken says:

    A better idea than a Red-Dead canal is a Med-Kinneret tunnel. The distance is much shorter (45 km) and the water can be desalinated prior to entering the lake using the pressure of the height differential (200 meters). This option would leave the water entirely in Israel’s control–not subject to future political disputes–but would allow replenishment of the Jordan River & Dead Sea. The water could also be offered to Jordan as relations warrant.

  2. Joshua says:

    Jan. 2, 2009

    Now I speak over you Kingdom of Jordan, the rains are coming to you as a sign! The rains will pour down. Christ alone will come over the open heaven over your lands and will show you the greatest love belongs not in learning about God, but having a committed relationship with Him.

    Mount Nebo there is an open portal over you and you will see, know and hear from God. Your Jordan River will overflow again! You will see it!

    Hold on, there are more blessings God will do for you with the rains that come down over Jordan!

    You will see the treasures of heaven befall upon you! This is your day to experience the Lord the Christ. As those who go to Amman, they will say this is a sign; the flooding is a sign from God Almighty!

    He is giving you a time to repent and serve Christ and allow His followers there to testify to all that God has and will do in your great country.

    For God says, you will see the rainbow, Jordan after the rain falls, a record year for rain in your lands, says the Lord God.

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