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Saving the Dead Sea

Mar 01,2015 - Last updated at Mar 01,2015

Jordan’s signing of an agreement with Israel for the implementation of the first stage of the much talked-about project to transfer Red Sea water to the Dead Sea did not come in a vacuum.

The recently signed accord follows an agreement signed by Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority in Washington in 2013 that aimed to secure the three sides with urgently needed water, especially Jordan and Palestine. 

The purpose of the project is to desalinate Red Sea water and transfer it to the three contracting parties. Some 300 million cubic metres (mcm) of water will be pumped each year under the first phase, with the Palestinians receiving 30mcm. 

Under the agreement, signed in the presence of representatives of the World Bank and the US, Jordan will receive an additional 50mcm of water annually from the Lake Tiberias reservoir.

The major scheme also entails replenishing the shrinking Dead Sea with new sources of water to offset the drastic reduction in its level.

All in all, the accord on linking the Red Sea with the Dead Sea is a breakthrough of strategic significance that will secure the Kingdom with a new source of potable water and revive the Dead Sea.

To be sure the full implementation of this mega-project — which entails annually transferring up to 2 billion cubic metres of water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea in its following phases — would change the landscape of Jordan’s development plans for the future by ensuring the long-term availability of water and create new possibilities for exploiting the Jordan Valley for irrigation, tourism and agro-industrial projects. 

Moreover, this project would save the Dead Sea from dying, something that all mankind has a vested interest in for generations to come.    

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