THE DYING DEAD SEA

  • 4toner4
  • futor_902x177v7-tonernew
  • banner-01-26-17b
  • ink-direct-banner-902-x-177-v-1-2-big-banner-03-23-2017
  • mse-big-banner-new-03-17-2016-416716a-tonernews-web-banner-mse-212
  • 536716a_green_sweep_web_banner_902x17712
  • Print
  • 05 02 2016 429716a-cig-clearchoice-banner-902x177
  • 2toner1-2
  • 161213_banner_futorag_902x177px
  • cartridgewebsite-com-big-banner-02-09-07-2016
Share

THE DYING DEAD SEA

 user 2006-05-08 at 9:58:00 am Views: 55
  • #15373

    Action call over dying Dead Sea
    Standing
    close to a grey, concrete building enclosing a spa, Ein Gedi kibbutz
    member Merav Ayalon points at the brown mudflats a few metres
    away.Twenty years ago the Dead Sea water would have lapped at her feet,
    she says. But now, glittering in the distance, the sea lies almost one
    km away from the spa.
    “We are watching the sea vanishing,” says Ms
    Ayalon. “I feel like the sea is a dying man calling out for help and
    there’s nothing I can do.”In the last 50 years, the Dead Sea, the
    world’s saltiest body of water and lowest point on earth, has seen its
    surface area shrink by a third and its depth drop by 25 meters.The
    water that once flowed into the Dead Sea from the River Jordan has been
    diverted by Syria, Jordan, Israel for agricultural and hydro-electrical
    projects.
    Environmentalists are now warning that drastic action has
    to be taken to avert an ecological disaster as the Dead Sea drops by a
    metre every year.”It’s a catastrophe,” says Gideon Bromberg, the
    director of Friends of the Earth in Israel. There’s nothing natural
    about the demise of the Dead Sea”Thousands of sinkholes – where the
    land collapses in on itself – have appeared on the shore’s coast
    threatening the infrastructure. The Ein Gedi kibbutz closed a camp site
    after a worker fell into a sinkhole.
    Wildlife threatened
    The
    wetland surrounding the Dead Sea also supports endangered species such
    as ibex, leopards and hyrax, sometimes called rock rabbits, and serves
    as an important resting and breeding site for millions of birds
    migrating between Europe and Africa each year.Both Israel and Jordan
    offer farmers big subsidies to use water from the Jordan River for
    agricultural use, says Mr Bromberg, and this should stop to allow a
    greater flow into the Dead Sea.
    “We’re saying water is very scarce
    so why waste it on growing bananas,” he says. “We should support our
    agricultural communities financially, but we also need to be guardians
    of the land. Tourism is a better investment.”
    At the Minerva resort,
    tourists sit on white deck chairs under parasols, while others cake
    themselves in mud or float on the Dead Sea. From round the world, many
    of the visitors expressed concern about the sea’s shrinkage.
    “It’s
    shocking really,” says Benjamin Harries, visiting from New York. “They
    shouldn’t be able to get away with it. If there’s anything they can do
    then the governments should do it.”
    Possible options
    One solution
    for replenishing the Dead Sea, is to build a 200-km canal to bring
    water from the Red Sea to the region. Water could be pumped to Jordan
    where it could be desalinated to produce fresh water for Jordan, Israel
    and the Palestinian Authority.The remaining water would then flow from
    the mountains down to the Dead Sea. But some experts think that the
    concerned governments will baulk at the price-tag of a potential
    project.
    “I think we have much more urgent problems to spend our
    money on,” says Dr Arie ben-Zvi, former director of the Israeli
    Hydrological Board.But others strongly disagree. “Nature gave us a gift
    and we’re ruining it,” says Ms Ayalon. “I’m afraid that when my three
    nephews have grown up that the Dead Sea will only be a memory.”