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Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Jordan, Israel, PA to launch study into Dead Sea canal

Agence France Presse
December 06, 2006

Jordan, Israel, PA to launch study into Dead Sea canal
By Agence France Presse (AFP)

AMMAN: Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority meet Sunday
to launch a feasibility study to build a canal linking the Red
Sea to the slowly vanishing Dead Sea, a Jordanian official said
Tuesday. "Representatives of Jordan, Israel, Palestine will meet
on the shores of the Dead Sea with representatives of the World
Bank and countries willing to finance the project," Jordanian
Water Ministry spokesman Adnan Zohbi told AFP.

"They will examine the practical steps needed to launch the
feasibility study for the project," a year after agreeing to go
ahead with the study, Zohbi said.

Environmental experts have repeatedly warned that the Dead Sea is
in danger of drying up as Jordan, Israel and the Palestinians
divert the waters of the Jordan River, which feeds it, for

The level of the Dead Sea, the world's lowest body of water, has
dropped by a third since the 1960s and continues to fall by about
a meter a year.

The two-year study will cost about $15.5 million, Zohbi said,
while the overall cost of the project is estimated at $3 billion.

The feasibility study will investigate the social and
environmental impact of conveying large quantities of water
through a 200-kilometer conduit between the two seas.

The World Bank will manage a fund to finance the project.

The project, if proven feasible, involves the building of a small
canal on the Red Sea between Jordan and Israel and then pumping
water to the Dead Sea through a 180-kilometer pipe or several pipes.

Water from the Red Sea would then be pumped to a power station
and a desalination plant in Jordan and the project would take
about five years to build, Jordanian officials have said. - AFP

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