What is the problem?
Israel, Jordan and Palestine share the
borders of the Dead Sea Basin. At more than 400
meters below sea level, the Dead Sea is the lowest point on Earth, as well
as the most saline body of water on the planet . The surface area of the
Dead Sea has shrunk by around 30% in the past 20 years,
a drop of 12 meters in the water level. The reasons for this decline are well-known: a constant
decrease of input from the Jordan River and increased use of other sources,
such as natural springs, that supply water to the Dead Sea. The rapidly
growing populations in the three countries bordering this area will increase
the demand for fresh water. The degradation is also a result of the water
management policies of the countries bordering the Dead Sea. This is due in
part to the large-scale diversions of water from the upper Jordan for
irrigation and municipal services in Israel and Jordan.
Why is it
The Dead Sea is an international
natural and cultural heritage. The basin is the origin of some of the
world’s oldest human settlements and is an area with sites sacred to
Christianity, Islam and Judaism. It is a unique environment for wildlife,
containing habitats that support hundreds of plant and animal species, in
addition to many bird species, including some that are in danger of
extinction. The composition of the Dead Sea itself and the climate of the
region provide a unique setting for the treatment of skin diseases, which
makes the region appealing to tourists.