Jordan and Israel Find Risks in Dead Sea – Red Sea Canal

red sea, dead sea canal, jordan israelThe dire situation of the Dead Sea has recently been dramatized by eco artists like Sigalit Landau

The Dead Sea is again in environmental headlines as a project to remove salt accumulations from the lakes southern portions have passed preliminary readings in Israel’s parliament.  The salt removal project would be largely paid for by the Dead Sea Works, with the profits derived from the sale of the extracted minerals to be placed in a special rehabilitation fund. This project comes on the heels of warnings by environmentalists that the hotels located in this portion of the Dead Sea could be  flooded by the ironically rising waters .

read sea dead sea canalSalt build up causes water to rise

This salt build up problem is linked to a Jordan Times article stating that the Dead Sea is losing water by the amount of 30 meters a year, with the fear that the lake will dry up entirely by the year 2050.

The article adds that although the construction of a conduit between the Dead and Red Sea is “technically possible” it is full of environmental dangers, much of which could occur during the construction of the conduit itself. Feasibility studies authorized by the World Bank,  dealing with the impact of mixing the highly saline Dead Sea waters with that of the less saline Red Sea, have been ongoing for more than two years  and are still inconclusive.

These studies have been criticized  by groups such as Friends of the Earth Middle East  (FOEME) whose Israel Director, Gideon Bromberg, says that the World Bank study needs more time in order to reach a satisfactory conclusion regarding the construction of the conduit project.

Bromberg’s FOEME non-profit still believes that the best solution for replenishing the waters of the Dead Sea is to bring water through the Lower Jordan River, now nothing more than a sewage canal.

karin kloosterman investigates jordan river sewageGetting a whiff of Jordan River’s sewage

Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority  have considered the conveyance project as a way to bring much needed water into the Dead sea.

If this project is completed, at a cost of more than 8 billion dollars and in at least a 20 year time frame, the hoped for increase in the lake’s water levels will hopefully bring it up to – 315 below sea level instead of its present – 408 meters.

A series of public consultation meetings will be held in Israel, Jordan and Palestine during 2012. Locations of these meetings, in which the general public will be invited to voice their opinions include Amman, Aqaba, Eilat, Jerusalem, Jericho, and Ramallah. As stated by the World Bank spokesperson:

“The objective of the public consultations is to receive feedback and suggestions from stakeholders on the draft results and preliminary findings of the study program. These comments will then be taken into account in the final reports.”

Read more on Dead Sea issues, including the Jordan River:
Time Running Out for Saving Dead Sea Hotels
Unholy Waters: The Jordan River is Nearly Dead
Despite everything, Dead Sea Still a Popular Tourist Destination
Jordan, Israeli and Palestinian Reps Meet to Jumpstart Controversial Red-Dead Canal

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8 thoughts on “Jordan and Israel Find Risks in Dead Sea – Red Sea Canal”

  1. JohnnyMorales says:


  2. Maurice says:

    Hi Johnny,

    The big problem, as was explained to us on the media tour we took, is that most of the sewage water being dumped into the Jordan will be recycled by a nearby sewage treatment plant and used for agriculture. Israel already recycles 70% of its sewage and other waste water -possibly more than any other country.

  3. JohnnyMorales says:

    The real problem is only a small percentage of all the sewage Israel and Jordan generate is actually delivered load to the Jordan River.

    In Israel’s case, quite a bit of raw sewage is needlessly wasted as it is dumped into the Mediterranean.

    If Israel harnessed all that sewage to restore the Dead Sea, and Jordan did the same for its sewage it would eliminate the need for the hugely expensive Red-Dead canal and provide a permanent, high flow to the Jordan, especially if an all out effort was made to ensure ALL sewage generated by Israel and Jordan end up in the Jordan River.

    The Jordan River with its flow restored to record high levels would quickly restore and maintain the level of the Dead Sea at its normal level.

    I don’t see any reason to get so upset about the Jordan River being turned into a toilet.

    Just like all modern homes must have a toilet, so too must modern nations have a toilet albeit a bigger one.

    In that regard the Jordan is the most convenient for that purpose.

    The environmentalist should stop getting all stressed out about such a small river.

    Instead they should work to ensure that one day soon every flush will end up in the Jordan.

  4. Megan says:

    How can we find out when & where meetings will be held?

    1. Good question. They often have these meetings in ways to avoid the public knowing about them — at least that’s what I heard. Be in contact with anyone from Friends of the Earth Middle East. Like Gidon Bromberg. He could help you.

  5. JTR says:

    As our human population keeps growing on this planet that is NOT growing, there is not enough fresh water to supply our growing needs. Obviously then, the answer is to peacefully reduce the human population with family planning education, but corporate investors need a growing planet to satisfy their growing ambitions, so they pretend.

  6. Maurice says:

    That makes the plight of the Dead Sea even worse. Even if the conduit is built, by the time it is completed (in at least 2035)the level of the Dead Sea will have dropped to – 450 or more. What’s really needed now is more fresh water flowing into the lake via the Lower Jordan River.

  7. GURA BERGER says:

    Current level of the Dead Sea is -425.36. info updated of november 2011

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