A pier abandoned by the sea, standing as a silent reminiscent of the boats that used to be tied to it ten years ago. Today the pier stands approximately 8 meters above the sea level. Northern basin of the Dead Sea, June 4th. 2007. Photo by Amit Shabi/backyard
The Dead Sea – the lowest and saltiest body of water on the planet – is drying up, thanks to diversion of its upstream waters and mineral extraction by Israeli and Jordanian industries in the south. now the Dead Sea, which has already fallen to 418 metres today from 395 metres below sea level 50 years ago -- is dropping as much as one metre a year, a devastating pace in the environmental world. River Jordan, itself in dire straits is the main source of water to the dead sea. This river has flowed freely for thousands of years, Last summer, however, large sections of the river were finally reduced to a trickle. Steadily drained over the past half century by Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Palestine – increasingly for irrigated agriculture - the Jordan River was dealt a deathblow recently by a severe drought and the building of yet another tributary dam, on the Jordanian-Syrian border. The damage is immediately visible even to the untrained eye: At the Ein Gedi spa, beach facilities have been moved several hundred metres away from the main building as the water recedes; a truck-drawn trolley now brings tourists down to the water every 15 minutes to save them the long, hot walk. Enormous sinkholes are spreading, as salt blocks left behind by the receding water are dissolved by fresh groundwater. Parts of the Israeli highway, which runs the length of the Dead Sea and beyond starting from the top in the West Bank, are now at risk of caving in. On the Jordanian side, sinkholes are reported to have swallowed large chunks of farmland, road, construction projects and even donkeys and cows. The dead sea is declared a wourld haritege site by unesco, and is competing to be considered one of the 7 wonders of the modern wourld. The World Bank is leading a project to restore water levels, and proposes to pump marine water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea via a 200 km pipeline. This project – dubbed the ‘Red-Dead Conduit’ - is highly controversial because of the risks it poses to three unique ecosystems: the Gulf of Aqaba, the Arava Valley and the Dead Sea itself.
Bookmark/Search this post with: