The Shrinking Dead Sea: Causes and Efforts at Restoration - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

oshin
the shrinking dead sea causes and efforts at restoration l.
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
The Shrinking Dead Sea: Causes and Efforts at Restoration PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
The Shrinking Dead Sea: Causes and Efforts at Restoration

play fullscreen
1 / 18
Download Presentation
The Shrinking Dead Sea: Causes and Efforts at Restoration
681 Views
Download Presentation

The Shrinking Dead Sea: Causes and Efforts at Restoration

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript

  1. The Shrinking Dead Sea:Causes and Efforts at Restoration Stephen McCaffrey Pacific/McGeorge School of Law Transboundary Freshwater Ecosystem Restoration: The Role of Law, Process and Lawyers

  2. The Dead Sea: A Piece of World Heritage • Unique cultural, religious and political significance • Known to Aristotle • Lowest point on Earth • Actually a lake

  3. Locating the Dead Sea: The Middle East

  4. Locating the Dead Sea: Israel/Palestine/Jordan

  5. Locating the Dead Sea: The Jordan River Basin

  6. Five Jordan River Riparians • Lebanon • Israel • Syria • Jordan • Palestine

  7. An Arid Region • All three lower riparians (Jordan, Palestine & Israel) are in a state of “absolute water scarcity” • Israel: 330 m3/year per capita • Jordan: 160 “ • Palestine 70 “

  8. Dead Sea: Key Characteristics • Lowest point on Earth – ca. 400 m/1340 feet below sea level • High salinity: ca. 10 times that of sea water (33% vs. 3% in Mediterranean) • As of 1996, ca. 50 mi. long and 11 mi. wide at widest point

  9. Why Is the Dead Sea Shrinking? • Two reasons: evaporation and upstream diversions • Evaporation: ca. 2 billion m3/year (but nothing new) • Upstream diversions: • Lebanon: 10 mcm/yr • Jordan: ca. 320 mcm/yr • Syria: avg. of 260 mcm/yr • Israel: ca. 700 mcm/yr – out of the basin • Palestine: 0 • Israel’s diversions into the Lower Jordan: saline and waste water

  10. Efforts at Restoration:The “Red-Dead Canal” • History • Med -Dead Canal first proposed in 19th c • Israelis originally proposed Med-Dead and Jordanians the Red-Dead – originally to generate electricity • 1996 study by Harza Engineering of Chicago proposed production of freshwater via a Red-Dead Canal

  11. A Red-Dead Conveyance: Current Impetus • Jordan and World Bank the main promoters; Israel also directly involved • 2002 Johannesburg Summit on Sustainable Development: Jordan and Israel state “shared vision” for a Red-Dead “Peace Conduit” • Saving the Dead Sea • Making affordable drinking water available • Building a symbol of peace and cooperation in the Middle East

  12. Red-Dead Canal: Features • Canal would carry saltwater from the Red Sea 180 km down the Wadi Araba into the Dead Sea • Would refill Dead Sea to level of 1930s over period of 10-20 years • When Dead Sea reaches its historic levels and inflow matches evaporation rate, flow of canal will be reduced • Construction would take 10 yrs and cost ca. $5 billion

  13. Project Design: Overview

  14. Benefits of a Red-Dead Canal • (Water supply project with environmental benefits or environmental project with water supply benefits?) • Environmental: Restoration of Dead Sea • Water supply: 850 mcm/yr to Amman (2/3) and Israel/Palestine (1/3) • Economic: tourism, potash & salt industries • “Peace dividend” (?)

  15. Problems: Factual • Cost of water: ca. $1.30 per cubic meter once pumped uphill to Amman and Jerusalem • Possible adverse environmental effects – e.g.: • Mixing of Red Sea and Dead Sea waters • Possible impacts of Red Sea coral reefs; • Possible impacts on wildlife migration in Wadi Araba

  16. Problems: Legal • No notification of upper riparians (Lebanon & Syria) as required by international practice • Dispute over Oct. 2003 TORs for Feasibility Study • Original Bank draft accepted by Jordan and Palestinians but not Israel, which insisted on eliminating all references to the PA as a “riparian” • Palestinian concern that acceptance of desalinated water will be used by Israel to avoid reallocating surface and ground water shared with Palestinians

  17. Conclusions • It looks as though the Dead Sea will be restored to its former level, given strong support especially by Jordan and also by World Bank • If project seems far-fetched, it just goes to show how important freshwater is in the region and the lengths international actors will go to in order to produce it • The jury is still out, and may be for some time to come, on the project’s • economic viability and • environmental effects

  18. Thank You!