The famous Dead Sea, a salt lake between Jordan to the east and the occupied West Bank and present-day Israel to the west, has been shrinking at the alarming rate of 1.5 meters a year for the past forty years. So why is the Dead Sea dying?
Malihe Razazan of "Voices of the Middle East and North Africa" speaks to Palestinian environmentalist, Muna Dajani, about the Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Project, a ten billion dollar World Bank program attempting to revive the Dead Sea. She says that eighty percent of the water from the Jordan River, which normally fills the Dead Sea, is being diverted by Israel for agricultural and domestic use.
The 110-mile pipeline, which will be laid on Jordanian territory, will pump two hundred million cubic meters from the Red Sea, half of which will go towards the Dead Sea. The other half will be desalinated and sold by Israel to Jordan and Palestine.
However, the proposed plan is raising concerns among environmentalists---namely, how will mixing water from another sea affect the unique chemical and biological composition of the Dead Sea? The project would supply less than 100m of the 800m cubic meters of water needed each year to stabilize the Dead Sea--and doesn`t address the root causes of the declining water levels, according to Friends of the Earth Middle East.