Friday, October 16, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Dead Sea located between Israel & Jordan is 1300 feet below sea level. Its salinity is 10 times that of the Mediterranean Sea making life in the Dead Sea impossible. Only certain bacteria and algae capable of surviving its extreme climate have managed to sustain. Dead Sea’s salinity is caused by the absence of any rivers originating from it. Most rivers only drain to the Dead Sea (feeding it with salt from the surroundings) and the only respite for the collected water is evaporation which concentrates the salt content considerably. However, rising temperatures (accelerating evaporation) aren’t solely responsible for Dead Sea’s declining levels. Water use in the surrounding areas has increased steadily and the outgoing water volume is not compensated enough by the incoming rivers that seem to be narrowing by contamination.
Water from the Dead Sea is useless for human use or industrial purposes directly due to its high salinity. However desalination plants have made Dead Sea waters usable. It is a good source of hydroelectricity. (The falling levels have raised pumping costs! )
Thus the Dead Sea which allowed humans to float on; is shrinking, leaving some treacherous sink hole amidst its receded areas. A controversial solution to this problem is building a canal that linked the red and dead sea. Red Sea is considerably less saline and the water added to the Dead Sea will require treatment to make it more saline! They intend to use the wastes from desalination plants to fill the Dead Sea. Some environmentalists are concerned of the effects of this artificial watering of the Dead Sea and understandably raised their voicea when the neighboring countries wanted to abandon pilot testing of this experiment and proceeding to large scale refilling!