Israel and Jordan signed an agreement on Thursday to build a pipeline that would connect the Red Sea to the shrinking Dead Sea and mitigate water shortages in the region. The Two Seas Canal, which is also called the Red Sea-Dead Sea Conduit, would carry about 300 million metric cubes north every year. That will hopefully slow down the Dead Sea’s drying out.
Part of the agreement calls for a water purification plant to be built. Palestinians, Jordanians and Israelis would all have access to the water.
The Dead Sea is the lowest and saltiest body of water in Earth, and it is currently expected to dry out by 2050. Its problems began in the 1960’s, when Syria, Jordan and Israel all diverted water from the Jordan River away from the Dead Sea.
The project’s plans call for some of the water pumped from the Red Sea to go into the Dead Sea, while the rest would be desalinated and shared out among Palestine, Jordan, and Israel. Paul Mathieson has read that the Palestinians are expected to get 30 million cubic meters of drinkable water per year. Find more on Mathieson at Ireport.com.
The plan is the result of over a decade of negotiations by representatives from Palestine, Jordan, and Israel that culminated in a letter of intent signed in Washington, D.C. in 2013. The agreement was signed in the presence of witnesses from the World Bank and the United States.