Dead Sea

Sustainable Development for the Negev is preparing for a struggle against the latest proposal to connect the Dead Sea with the Red Sea
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 23/6/2003Regional irrigation projects are diverting most of the running water that feeds into the Dead Sea while simultaneously the industries of the Arab Potash Company and the Dead Sea Works are increasing the rate of evaporation of the Dead Sea water. As a result there is an extreme drop in the lake level with the average annual drop of 80cm (Anati and Shasha, 1989) and the lake level has reached 413m below sea level from 311m at the beginning of the century (Israel Hydrological Service, 1999). Decreased water levels on the Dead Sea have caused a loss of groundwater, the formation of sinkholes, and obstacles in the development of the area. In an attempt to solve these problems, the new Minister for Infrastructure has tabled the old unsuccessful proposal to transporting millions of cubic meters of water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea. SDN feels that the project shifts the public’s gaze from the real cause of the problems in the area. The current plan, which is unclear and very costly, does not provide a sustainable or permanent solution. If this proposal succeeds, it is sure to create far reaching ecological changes throughout the entire Dead Sea and Red Sea regions.“The new government, like its predecessors, refuses to learn from past mistakes. Environmental organizations will be forced to demonstrate a strong stand in order to prevent a mistake which will be regretted for generations to come”. This is the case according to Bilha Givon, SDN Executive Director, in view of the intentions to raise the idea of the project to connect the two seas. The problems of the Dead Sea shrinkage and a lack of drinking water are serious ecological problems, which must be addressed, but we must not try to solve one problem by creating another. The major ecological shifts of this project have never seriously been considered, and indeed, neither have the environmental impacts of moving millions of cubic meters of water from the Gulf of Aqaba to the Dead Sea. Potential problems include: · Change of the biological environment of the Dead Sea (stratification and dilution of the Dead Sea, introduction of foreign fauna)· Change of the chemical composition of the Dead Sea (the precipitation of gypsum) · Hazards of building such a plant in a seismological active zone, · Water leakage and the contamination of the local aquifer· Interruption of wildlife movement due to construction and maintenance of infrastructure projects, · Damage to the coral reefs at the proposed Red Sea intake point.While the Red Sea Dead Sea project is the most expensive proposal, it does not even broach the root of the problem - the massive diversion of water from the Jordan River for agricultural use. SDN maintains that full and comprehensive Environmental Impact Statements and Cost-Benefit analyses should be made of the Red Sea Dead Project and it alternatives. SDN is preparing for a decisive struggle against this dangerous plan.For further details call: Bilha Givon on 058-483 600 or Orit Nevo on 064-350 351.
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עמותת נגב בר קיימא
"נגב בר-קיימא" היא עמותה רשומה, שהוקמה בשנת 1998 מתוך הצורך בגיבוש עקרונות לתכנון ולפיתוח בר-קיימא בנגב ויישומם, דרך השפעה על מקבלי ההחלטות והציבור כולו.
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