Environmentalists: “Explore Alternatives to Red-Dead Canal Project”

dead-red-canal-projectFollowing the Israeli Minister’s green light for the Red-Dead Canal project, Friends of the Earth Middle East are calling for alternatives to the project to be fully explored

Since the very start, the Red-Dead Canal project has been fraught with controversy. The project which aims to revive the Dead Sea, which is shrinking one metre a year, by tunnelling water from the Red Sea has faced serious criticism. One of which is that rather protecting ecosystems, the project could be the harbinger of doom for the Dead Sea’s fragile ecology. Now that the Israeli minister Silvan Shalom has given the project the go-ahead, environmentalists such as the Friends of the Earth Middle East say that alternatives to the project need to be fully explored.

Gidon Bromberg, Israeli Director of Friends of the Earth Middle East, said: “During this entire project, the voice of environmentalists have not been sufficiently heard, and now too, we witness agreements being made behind closed doors between our countries and the World Bank. Attempts are being made to create facts-on-the-ground prior to proper public consultation.”

The $15 billion Red-Dead Canal project, which was thought up in 2005, is being funded by the World Bank and is expected to take up to 20 years to complete. Although the World Bank has carried out a feasibility study, FoE-ME remark on their website that the study doesn’t adequately address certain questions around the impact on coral reefs, the implications for tourism and the ecological consequences of the project. They also add that there needs to be a greater effort to restore the Dead Sea by rehabilitating the flow of the Jordan River which normally sustains it.

Bromberg added: “While we welcome the partial release of the Red-Dead associated reports, it still remains unclear as to when the Alternatives Study to the Red-Dead project will be made public. Before we put the cart before the horse, we must see and heavily weigh the alternatives”. The Red-Dead Canal would consist of  a 180 kilometre pipeline between the Red and Dead Sea. This would transfer 100 billion cubic metres of water into the receding Dead Sea and another 100 billion cubic metres of water would be desalinated to provide drinking water for the parched region.

: Photo of Dead Sea coastline via Shutterstock.com

For more on the Red-Dead Canal projects see:

Environmentalists Say “No, No!” To Red-Dead Canal

Seawater Hydro Pump From Med to Dead Sea Needs Rethink

Israel-Jordan: Route to Environmental Disaster?

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2 thoughts on “Environmentalists: “Explore Alternatives to Red-Dead Canal Project””

  1. The Article leaves me a bit confused.
    Are they pumping the water or is it an open canal?

    Is the main concern for potential toxins and Human wastes being imported from the Jordan to the Dead Sea?
    If so, what ever happened to BioChar and Sand traps in conjunction with Distillation to kill off parasites?
    Not like theres any lack of Solar power available for such a task and the solid wastes gathered in the process could provide a potential source of low cost renewable energy through Methane and Producer Gas production leaving you with BioChar and Compost as a waste of that portion of National Energy production.
    And if you mix Compost & BioChar, you get Terra Preta, an excellent, man-made alternative to Topsoil as the primary Carbon emission from power generation.

    And everywhere you bring Ocean water to is the potential for more Salt Farms which if kept under glass and the Vapors fed to an Atmospheric Water Generation system could provide abundant fresh water for Agricultural and Aquaponic purposes to whatever region was in need of it.

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