Dead Sea needs world help to stay alive
Jordan: The Dead Sea may soon shrink to a lifeless pond as Middle East political strife blocks vital measures needed to halt the decay of the world`s lowest and saltiest body of water, experts say.
The surface level is plunging by a metre (three feet) a year and nothing has yet been done to reverse the decline because of a lack of political cooperation as a result of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The shoreline has receded by more than a kilometre (around a mile) in some places and the world-famous lake, a key tourism destination renowned for the beneficial effect of its minerals, could dry out by 2050, according to some calculations.
"It might be confined into a small pond. It is likely to happen and this is extremely serious. Nobody is doing anything now to save it," said water expert Dureid Mahasneh, a former Jordan Valley Authority chief.
"Saving the Dead Sea is a regional issue, and if you take the heritage, environmental and historical importance, or even the geographical importance, it is an international issue."
Landlocked between Jordan, Israel and the West Bank, the Dead Sea is rapidly vanishing because water which previously flowed into the lake is being diverted and also extracted to service industry and agriculture.
Jordan decided in September to go it alone and build a two-billion-dollar pipeline from the Red Sea to start refilling the Dead Sea without help from proposed partners Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
However, that project is controversial and Mahasneh stressed that Jordan alone is not capable of solving the Dead Sea`s problems.
The degradation began in the 1960s when Israel, Jordan and Syria began to divert water from the Jordan River, the Dead Sea`s main supplier.
For decades, the three neighbouring countries have taken around 95 percent of the river`s flow for agricultural and industrial use. Israel alone diverts more than 60 percent of the river.
The impact on the Dead Sea has been compounded by a drop in groundwater levels as rain water from surrounding mountains dissolved salt deposits that had previously plugged access to underground caverns.
Industrial operations around the shores of the lake also contribute to its problems.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Rajasthan: Gujjars revive reservation agitation, block rail track
- J Jayalalithaa sworn-in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
- Dr Subhash Chandra Show: Aspiring for more than what you have!
- ISIS to buy first nuclear weapon from Pak?
- Mumbai: CCTV captures assailant with gun at Film City
- Mathura SSP receives death threat letter, message for PM Modi
- BJP now central pole of Indian politics: Arun Jaitley
- Maharashtra FDA sends Maggi noodles for lab testing
- Watch: Fast N Facts @ 7:30pm
- Haridwar: Hotel Radisson Blu sealed for polluting Ganga
- Delhi: Two killed in road accident in New Ashok Nagar
- Reservation issue: Police register case against Bainsla, 20 others
- Girl in Punjab's Pathankot quit studies for fear of eve-teasing
- Zee Media exclusive chat with 'Welcome to Karachi' cast
- Special: Furious over rising water crisis, people take to the streets
- Goa Board SSC Exam Results 2015 announced
- ISIS close to buying nuclear weapon from Pakistan?
- Manohar Parrikar visits forward areas along LoC, reviews security situation
- Credibility of Prime Minister's Office restored by BJP, says Arun Jaitley
- There will be no delay in appointing CIC, CVC: Jitendra Singh
- ISIS justifies raping slave girls, says Michelle Obama is 'worth $40'
- IPL 2015 Final: Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings - Preview
- 'Unhappy' Celina Jaitley asks Sunny Leone to move out?
- Arvind Kejriwal to highlight AAP govt's 100 days work on Monday
- BJP's plan for one-year celebration: 200 big rallies, 5,000 public meetings
- CBSE Results 2015: 10th board exam results to be declared on May 27
- Heatwave leaves 153 dead in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh
- IPL 8 Final: We need to be at our best against Mumbai, says Michael Hussey
- Jayalalithaa returns as Tamil Nadu CM: As it happened
- Heatwave kills 223 in AP, Telangana, Chandrababu Naidu announces compensation; Delhi records hottest day