A Trip to the Dead Sea

The Dead Sea, on the border between Israel and Jordan, is the lowest and saltiest body of water in the world—and experts say it is on course to dry out by 2050, now shrinking by one meter per year. A water shortage in the already-dry region has been compounded by a growing population, agricultural uses, tourism, and industry that are diverts almost 90 percent of the Jordan River that normally flowed into the Dead Sea. The lowering water table has also caused thousands of sinkholes to form, some swallowing up roads and tourist resorts. A massive project is now moving forward to alleviate the loss of water, called the Red Sea–Dead Sea Water Conveyance: a $10 billion, 100-mile-long water pipeline in Jordan, built to pump water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea. The pipeline, much delayed, is now slated to begin construction in 2018.

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