Friday, July 20, 2012

Israel to Revive Jordan River

A Reuters report describes how the Jordan River has shrunk over the years but a new plan will bring the stream back to life.

Today, as a result of years of overtaxing for irrigation and drinking water, [the Jordan River] snakes irresolutely along the valley from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea. As far as the eye can see, it is just a few meters wide.

"It's five percent of what once flowed," said Ben Ari, who is one of the rehabilitation project leaders. "You can easily walk across without getting your head wet."

Almost all the water that feeds the river is diverted by Syria, Jordan and Israel before it reaches the south, he explained.

But for the first time, Israel -- which is two-thirds arid and has battled drought since its establishment 64 years ago -- has a water surplus.

This follows decades of massive investment in the country's water infrastructure. It re-uses 75 percent of its wastewater, mostly for agriculture, and by next year, 85 percent of drinking water will come from desalination plants.

The Israeli government has chosen to use this bounty to rehabilitate the country's rivers. The Jordan tops the list.

The rest of the story describes other ways that Israel plans to promote tourism in the area. The article does not mention the impact this may have on the Dead Sea.

HT: Charles Savelle

Jordan River, tb020506945

The Jordan River south of the Sea of Galilee

Labels: ,

1 Comments:

  • The problem with water is deeper (pardon the pun) than what this article describes. Of the water taken from the West Bank aquifers, 73% goes to Israel, 10% to Jewish settlements, and 17% to the West Bank Palestinians. The Palestinians have little or no access to Jordan River water. 90% of Palestinians rely on rain-fed farming; however, Israel irrigates more than 50% of its land. If this plan comes to fruition, I would hope Israel would allow Palestinians access to some of the River's water.

    By Blogger David Hansen, at Fri Jul 20, 10:29:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home