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Israel Climate Change Impact: 4 Actions Jewish Nation Has Taken to Protect the Dead Sea

By    |   Monday, 09 Nov 2015 12:01 AM

The Dead Sea is in danger of dying. The lowest spot on Earth has seen its water levels depleted on a yearly basis due to climate change and human uses like agriculture and industry.

The sea is an important piece of history in Israel, Jordan and the West Bank, and supports a huge tourism industry. According to the Israel Ministry of Tourism, the sea sits 400 meters below sea level and more water is lost to evaporation than is brought in by tributaries.

The Israeli government realizes that saving the Dead Sea is important, for environmental and economic reasons. Here are four actions the Jewish nation has taken to protect the Dead Sea from the negative consequences of climate change.

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1. Increase the amount of fresh water in the northern basin
The sea’s lowering level and change in salinity are due in part to less water coming in from the Jordan River. According to The Jerusalem Post, Member of Knesset Dov Henin launched the Dead Sea Protection Bill in 2011. One major part of the legislation is an increase of at least 235 million cubic meters more water coming from the Jordan River than present-day level.

2. Implement a salt harvest in the southern basin
The environmental protection minister would need to monitor the water level in the southern part of the sea, which is actually rising. Henin’s legislation would require that the water level in the peripheral embankment and the beach of Pool 5 not go above 389.5 meters below sea level. Harvesting salt from the high-salinity water in the area can help keep that water level down.

3. Pumping brine from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea
A 2014 deal struck between Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority includes a desalination plant in Aqaba, Jordan, located on the Red Sea. That water will be shared by the three nations, and brine would be pumped into the Dead Sea through a pipeline that is 180 km long, according to ThirdPole.net. It would take an estimated 30 years of this to stabilize that Dead Sea’s water level.

4. Limit industrial use of water
Dead Sea Works pumps passive amounts of water from the Dead Sea in order to extract potash. The company has exclusive rights to its land and water in the southern part of the Dead Sea, but Henin’s legislation wants to put conditions on the company’s extraction. According to Haaretz, the company would need to submit a request to the environmental protection minister each year specifying how much water it plans to take from the sea. The government would make the final decision on the appropriate amount.

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The Dead Sea is in danger of dying. The lowest spot on Earth has seen its water levels depleted on a yearly basis because of climate change and human uses like agriculture and industry.
Israel, climate, Dead Sea, actions
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2015-01-09
Monday, 09 Nov 2015 12:01 AM
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