Jordan Plans to Give Dying Dead Sea New Life

The Dead Sea's Salt Encrusted ShoreJordan’s government is making its own plans to rejuvenate the shrinking Dead Sea with salt water from the Red Sea, according to recent news reports.

Ministry of Water and Irrigation Secretary General Maysoun Zu’bi announced last week that authorities are securing phase one funds for the Jordan National Red Sea Water Development Project (JRSP). Zu’bi told the Jordan Times that the JRSP would compliment the World Bank’s Red Sea – Dead Sea Water Conveyance Study Program that was launched in 2008 based on an agreement amongst Jordan, the Palestine Authority and Israel. The program is a two-year examination of the environmental and financial feasibility of Red-Dead conduit. Research will be completed at the end of next year.

Meanwhile, the lake has shrunk 14 cubic kilometers in the last 30 years, according to the study, “Water Input Requirements of the Rapidly Shrinking Dead Sea,” and continues to drop by about one meter per year due to human use, not climate change.

The study concludes that channels, like the World Bank’s Red-Dead conduit, “must have a carrying capacity of at least 0.9 km3/a in order to slowly re-fill the lake to its former level and to create a sustainable system of electricity generation and freshwater production by desalinization.”

But environmentalists are concerned that the two saltwaters won’t mix, resulting in ecological damage, the Telegraph reported. They also argue that the World Bank study is too short to accurately assess the environmental impact.

Read More: Here, here and here.

Sources: The Jordan Times, The Daily Telegraph

1 reply
  1. SS says:

    Seems that a pilot to mix the salt waters on a large scale would be useful to understand what happens when the different waters mix. Maybe in that area of the Dead Sea to the south which is emptying out the fastest (south of the Potash plants). The Telegraph reports that the increase in salination of the Red Sea could be a problem. How does that work? The idea is to pump water out, desalinate a portion for drinking water, and the rest (outflow) flows to the Dead Sea with higher saline concentration, correct? (and capturing hydro power in the process). Why would de-salinated water go back the Red Sea in that scenario?

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