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The Second Israeli-Palestinian International Conference on “Water for Life in the Middle East”. Addressing the Dead Sea Basin Water Issues. The Dead Sea Water Basin. Total Area 41,000 Sq. Km Jordan River 19,000 Sq. Km Dead Sea 22,000 Sq. Km Annual Water Availability 1,800 MCM/yr

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The second israeli palestinian international conference on water for life in the middle east

The Second Israeli-Palestinian International Conference on “Water for Life in the Middle East”

Addressing the Dead Sea Basin Water Issues

Rafi Benvenisti


Rafi Benvenisti “Water for Life in the Middle East”


The dead sea water basin
The Dead Sea Water Basin “Water for Life in the Middle East”

  • Total Area 41,000 Sq. Km

    • Jordan River 19,000 Sq. Km

    • Dead Sea 22,000 Sq. Km

  • Annual Water Availability 1,800 MCM/yr

    • Jordan River 1,500 MCM/yr

    • Dead Sea 350 MCM/yr

  • Annual Water Use

    • Jordan River 1,400 MCM/yr

    • Dead Sea (Potash plants – net) 250 MCM/yr

Rafi Benvenisti


Water balances
Water Balances “Water for Life in the Middle East”

  • The Jordan River 150 MCM/yr

    (Incl. Brackish Water and Sewage)

  • The Dead Sea - Net -600 MCM/yr

    • Surface Evaporation -800 MCM/yr

    • Potash Works -250 MCM/yr

    • Total -1,050 MCM/yr

    • Jordan River 150 MCM/yr

    • Other 300 MCM/yr

    • Total 450 MCM/yr

Rafi Benvenisti


Water use in the basin by political entities
Water Use in the Basin by Political Entities “Water for Life in the Middle East”

  • Jordan River

    • Israel & the Palestinians 50%

      (one third of annual consumption)

    • Jordan 27%

      (one third of annual consumption)

    • Syria 21%

    • Lebanon 2%

Rafi Benvenisti


Additional threats to the water balances
Additional Threats to the Water Balances “Water for Life in the Middle East”

New water projects in the riparian countries:

  • Surface water in: Lebanon, Jordan in the Yarmuk, Israel & Jordan in the Jorden River (the peace agreement), the Mujib river in Jordan, etc.

  • Desalination of brackish water in Israel & Jordan.

  • Recycling of waste water (fish ponds and sewage)

Rafi Benvenisti


Main water issues in the basin
Main Water Issues in the Basin “Water for Life in the Middle East”

  • Water allocation to the riparian countries

  • Water management in the riparian countries

  • The future of the River Jordan

  • The future of the Dead Sea

    The water allocation and management issues will be dealt in other forums

Rafi Benvenisti


Environmental and economic threats
Environmental and Economic Threats “Water for Life in the Middle East”

  • Shrinkage of the Jordan river and its habitat.

  • Shrinkage of the Dead Sea with major environmental and economic damage.

Rafi Benvenisti


Approaches to ways to address the threats 1
Approaches to Ways to Address the Threats (1) “Water for Life in the Middle East”

  • The overall approach that will initiate agreements on water allocation, water management, the future of the Jordan River and the Dead Sea. The end result will be a renewed flow of surface water in the Jordan river to resolve the Jordan and Dead Sea threats.

  • The limitations are the very high “transaction costs” because of the very complex internal and external political problems.

Rafi Benvenisti


Approaches to ways to address the threats 2
Approaches to Ways to Address the Threats (2) “Water for Life in the Middle East”

  • Independent approaches to each of the pending issues with international coordination.

    • Water allocation to the riparian countries

    • Water management in the riparian countries

    • The future of the Jordan River and

    • The Future of the Dead Sea

Rafi Benvenisti


Possible ways to address the jordan river issues
Possible Ways to Address The Jordan River Issues “Water for Life in the Middle East”

  • An agreed freeze on future surface water projects in the Jordan basin

  • An agreement to prevent the flows of waste water to the Jordan and the use of recycled and brackish water to renew the Jordan River flows

Rafi Benvenisti


The Dead Sea water Level “Water for Life in the Middle East”

In 2004 the level was -416.

Annual decline is one meter.

Rafi Benvenisti


Future Dead Sea Water Levels “Water for Life in the Middle East”(bellow sea level)

(Under different water input assumptions)

Rafi Benvenisti


1987 “Water for Life in the Middle East”

-404

Rafi Benvenisti


Damages in the dead sea
Damages in the Dead Sea “Water for Life in the Middle East”

  • Receding seashores

  • Destruction of natural habitats

  • Changes in landscapes and damages to structures and infrastructure

Rafi Benvenisti


Kaneh Springs “Water for Life in the Middle East”

1/45

11/02

Rafi Benvenisti


North of Ein Gedi “Water for Life in the Middle East”

Rafi Benvenisti


Nahal Dragot “Water for Life in the Middle East”

Rafi Benvenisti


Ein Bokek Area “Water for Life in the Middle East”

Rafi Benvenisti


Ein Gedi “Water for Life in the Middle East”

Rafi Benvenisti


The red sea dead sea conduit rsds the vision
The Red-Sea Dead-Sea Conduit (RSDS) “Water for Life in the Middle East”The Vision

  • Saving the Dead Sea

  • Making drinking water available at affordable prices mainly to Jordan

  • Building a symbol of peace and cooperation in the Middle East

Rafi Benvenisti


Concept configuration
Concept Configuration “Water for Life in the Middle East”

  • The Red Sea - Dead Sea (RSDS) sea water Conduit – (The “Peace Conduit”)

  • Desalination/Power plants in the Dead Sea

  • Fresh Water Conveyance system

Rafi Benvenisti


The concept of the rsds projects 1
The Concept of the RSDS Projects (1) “Water for Life in the Middle East”

  • The dual objectives and sets of benefits

  • Saving the Dead Sea – Generating environmental and tourism benefits to cover the cost of the Red Sea Dead Sea Conduit

  • Making drinking water available in Amman at a cost of about 1.25 dollar per cubic meter (lower than the alternative cost of water in Amman in the year 2020)

Rafi Benvenisti


The concept of the rsds projects 2
The Concept of the RSDS Projects (2) “Water for Life in the Middle East”

  • The Red Sea Dead Sea Conduit will be financed by donor countries. It will be built and operated by the private sector.

  • The desalination/power plants and conveyance of fresh water will be built in stages, and owned and operated by the private sector.

Rafi Benvenisti


The Red-Sea Dead-Sea Conduit “Water for Life in the Middle East”

Rafi Benvenisti


Environmental issues
Environmental Issues “Water for Life in the Middle East”

  • Potential changes in the Dead Sea composition with possible affects on the appearance of the sea and the operations of the potash factories.

  • Potential damages to the environment in the Gulf of Aqaba.

  • Potential damage to the aquifer in the Arava Valley

  • The issues need further study and the building of a dynamic limnological model is essential before detailed design of the project.

Rafi Benvenisti


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