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Hussam Hussein
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Hi and thanks for visiting my profile :) My name is Hussam, I'm a blogger-researcher-journalist, member of the European Youth Press’ Middle East and North Africa Committee (MENAC). I studied in Italy (Trieste/Gorizia), England (SOAS, London), and Poland (College of Europe). Academically, my background is mainly in Diplomacy and International Relations, with a focus on Environment. My interests are climate change, water, development and international cooperation.

Post

Jordan River and Dead Sea: slowly going to an end?

Published 12th July 2010 - 6 comments - 4479 views -


An important consequence of the drastic decrease of the flow of the Jordan River (decrease of 98% of its volume compared to 50 years ago), are the consequences on the level of the Dead Sea. In the case of the Jordan River level, this is mainly due to the diversion and to the dams built by Israel, Jordan, and Syria (on the Yarmouk, the main tributary of the Jordan River), but indeed lower precipitation and higher temperature have also an impact on the river. For this reason, the level of Dead Sea is falling every year by more or less 1 meter, losing more than 25 meters in the last thirty years. If no actions will be taken, the risk is that within fifty years this sea will disappear. This phenomenon in the last years has generated another new visible consequence: more than 2,000 sinkholes.

A sinkhole is a natural hole, a depression, in the surface of the land surrounding the sea and it is formed suddenly. These sinkholes are supposed to be caused by a groundwater level drop – as a consequence of the Dead Sea level drop – forming cavities underground, where fresh water used to be previously. Incoming water will then dissolve salt layers, causing internal holes that collapsing, will suddenly create the sinkholes around the Dead Sea. This phenomenon, happening suddenly, may be seriously dangerous for workers and people happening to be in the area where the sinkhole will form. As a matter of fact, a farmer together with his donkey died falling in a sinkhole that was forming under them while he was working on his land. A sinkhole can open at any time swallowing up everything on the surface, like an earthquake. Together with the risk for the local people, there are two other problems: firstly, it is dangerous to cultivate the area near the Dead Sea; secondly many economic activities such as industries have been seriously damaged and had to close for security reasons. For instance, in the village of Ghor Haditha, along the Jordanian side of the southern Dead Sea, more than 100 sinkholes appeared damaging agricultural lands, forcing the farmers to abandon these areas, as well as damaging economic industrial activities. In fact, in the same village a factory producing Dead Sea’s soaps and beauty products had to close for security reasons after that it has been seriously damaged by this phenomenon.

If no serious actions to rehabilitate the Jordan River will be taken, soon there will be no more Jordan River and Dead Sea... What is the world waiting for?


Category: Environment | Tags:


Comments

  • Andrea Arzaba on 13th July 2010:

    I visited the dead sea and the jordan river last year, they are amazing and unique places in the world, I really hope some actions will take place in Jordan in order to solve this problems, what would you do Hussam?


  • Hussam Hussein on 13th July 2010:

    As you said, Andrea, these are amazing and unique places smile
    I believe that it is a political solution that should be taken, a strong political solution in order to rehabilitate the Jordan River first and as a consequence the Dead Sea.
    For instance: less deviation of its water, less water to the agricultural sector, a sustainable agriculture… what do you think?


  • Andrea Arzaba on 14th July 2010:

    I agree with you ahhh I really hope government will do something about it! How about signing a petition?


  • Luan Galani on 15th July 2010:

    Hussam, scaring situation. By any chance do you know what governments are doing to tackle that?

    Thanks


  • Daniel Nylin Nilsson on 23rd July 2010:

    Sounds really worrying… :( What could be done to tackle the problem?


  • Hussam Hussein on 24th July 2010:

    Well, one of the propal was the Dead-Red Sea canal, in other words a canal that should bring water from the Red Sea into the Dead Sea… however, this solution would not solve and save the Lower Jordan River… :(


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