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Red Sea

Raising the Water Level in the Dead Sea

Raising the Water Level in the Dead Sea


For the past 50 years, the water level has been dropping in the Dead Sea.  Some of this has been caused by the natural climate oscillation over time.  However, some of the drop has been caused by the population growth that has taken place in Israel and Jordan. The citizens of those two countries have been diverting water for drinking and irrigation.  Water is not reaching the tributaries leading to the Jordan River and consequently, not reaching the Dead Sea.  During the past few years, the level of the Dead Sea has been declining at a rate of nearly one meter per year. For many years, there have been efforts made to reverse this situation.  The most common proposal is to pump water about 100 miles from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea (commonly nicknamed "Red-to-Dead" plan).  This plan has been hashed and rehashed a number of times.  As you can imagine, this would be a major undertaking.

A couple of weeks ago, the Washington Post reported that a tentative deal has been put in place to achieve this goal.  The plan would pump water out of the Red Sea, where it would go through a desalination process.  The clean water would be used by Israel, Jordan and the West Bank for human consumption.  The left over water would be pumped into the Dead Sea.

(On a side note, remember that you look at a map of the Bible Lands, you really must think in three dimensions.  If you do this, you will notice that the Red Sea is HIGHER than the Dead Sea.  So, overall, the process of pumping the water to the Dead Sea is an activity of gravity itself as the water will be flowing downhill a majority of the way.)

As you can imagine, this would be a very expensive operation and would take many years to complete.  But, it is an interesting concept.

The Dead Sea is mentioned a number of times in the Bible.  As a young man, David fled and hid from King Saul at En Gedi, along the banks of the Dead Sea.  While in the area, David fled to a "stronghold", that could possibly be Masada.

(NOTE: The picture at the top of this post is from Jordan, looking northwest across the northern part of the Dead Sea. Across the sea, you can see Jericho and at the top of the hill, you can see the outskirts of the Jerusalem area.)

HT: Todd Bolen