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NEWS: Dead Sea Is Dying.

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posted on May, 19 2005 @ 04:30 AM
At a decline since 1970 of three feet a year and in the last fifty years a water level drop of over eighty feet, the dead sea is dying. The sea is expected to drop over 60 more feet in the next twenty years and nothing will stop the decline according to experts. The drop in the sea level is being blamed on many factors including the River Jordan drying up and water from the dead sea being diverted for drinking water and agricultural purposes. The domino effect of the lowered water levels have had a drastic impact on wildlife reserves along the shores of the sea which is a key resting place for migrating birds travelling between Europe and Africa.
EIN GEDI, When the Ein Gedi Spa opened in 1986 to pamper visitors with massages, mud wraps and therapeutic swims, customers walked just a few steps from the main building to take their salty dip in the Dead Sea.

Nineteen years later, the water level has dropped so drastically that the shoreline is three-quarters of a mile away. A red tractor hauls customers to the spa's beach and back in covered wagons.

The main problem, experts agree, is that most of the water that once flowed into the sea -- the saltiest large body of water in the world and, at 1,371 feet below sea level, the lowest point on Earth -- is being diverted for drinking water and agriculture, so there is not enough to offset the high evaporation rate. In addition, Israeli and Jordanian industries on the south end of the sea are letting 180 million gallons of the mineral-rich water evaporate every day -- about 66 billion gallons a year -- to extract chemicals.

The best hope for a solution, some believe, is to pump salt water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea via a proposed 120-mile Red-Dead Canal, a $5 billion project that the Jordanian government is pursuing with international donors. The World Bank will help fund a $20 million study of the idea.

The Dead Sea covers about 250 square miles in a deep valley bordered by Israel, Jordan and the West Bank. But to understand why the sea is dying, begin about 60 miles north, at a spot just below the Sea of Galilee that today is the northernmost source of water for the lower Jordan River -- an open drain that pumps out 720,000 gallons of raw sewage a day.

Environmentalists say that the Dead Sea Works evaporation ponds are responsible for 25 to 30 percent of the annual drop in the Dead Sea and that the company, which just had its state concession extended to 2030, is reaping a financial bonanza from the increased concentration of minerals in the water. "They are the only ones making good money. They want the water to decline," said the Environmental Ministry's Cohen.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

The water level drop has created huge sinkholes and mudflats and today every single tributary and major spring that flowed into the River Jordan is dammed or diverted by the countries bordering the Dead Sea.

The River Jordan which is believed to be the christening spot of Jesus is now kept alive by sewerage.

posted on May, 19 2005 @ 10:30 AM
why do they call it the dead sea ? Is there fish in it or is it truly dead ?
If it is DEAD and contains no life dont see a point in it being drained.

posted on May, 19 2005 @ 10:43 AM
It does not have any fish in it, it's too salty for most life. However, there is bacteria and other more resilient forms of life.

posted on May, 19 2005 @ 02:41 PM
how ironic....the dead sea is dying...

posted on May, 19 2005 @ 02:46 PM

Originally posted by Schmidt1989
how ironic....the dead sea is dying...

They should promptly rename it to a Living Sea.

Then let's wait and see what happens

posted on May, 19 2005 @ 02:48 PM
The dead sea water is so laden with salt and other minerals, drinking one glass of it can be lethal to a human.

posted on May, 19 2005 @ 03:06 PM
My grandpop is so old, that when he was a kid, the Dead Sea was just Sick!

posted on May, 19 2005 @ 06:42 PM
hasn't this been going on for thousands of years? I remeber excavations of port towns, with docks and such, that were vital parts of the Persian trading empire, in places that are miles from any water at all and have been part of the Saraha Desert or somesuch for a few hundred years.

I know, we need to get some of that "global warming" to melt the ice caps and raise the water level.

Tho I do have to wonder, are there any changes in height of the land or depth of the sea bottom due to tectonics or plate movement?

posted on May, 19 2005 @ 08:59 PM
This is all due to damming the feed rivers of the Dead Sea and drawing off water into evaporation pools to harvest minerals, no tectonic activity etc. needed.

posted on May, 19 2005 @ 09:02 PM
It has been going for a long time, but in recent years it's happening faster because of reigonal develepment.

Also, melting ice caps won't help because the dead sea isn't connected to any other sea. That's why it's 400m below sea level already.


posted on May, 19 2005 @ 10:57 PM
I have been thinking about this for a while. What they need to do is to use the elevation difference between the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean Sea or the Red Sea to produce power and fresh water. This would be easy and cheap. There is no need to pump sea water to fill the Dead Sea, all you have to do is siphon the water into it. Once you get it started, it will flow on its own. I'm sure that Isreal, Jordon and The West Bank could all benefit from the power and fresh water that would be produced if all the political bugs can be worked out.

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