by Hana Namrouqa | Mar 10,2012 | 23:34

AMMAN — Work on the Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Study Programme is expected to be completed in May, according to the World Bank.

Key draft studies will be subject to broad public consultation before any decisions are made about the feasibility of the Red-Dead project, the World Bank said in a statement.

To this end, the World Bank and the three beneficiary parties, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories, will hold public consultation meetings in Amman, Aqaba, Eilat, Jerusalem, Ramallah and Jericho.

“Much of the study work is nearing completion… Finalisation of the work will be preceded by another round of public consultations in Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. Current estimates are that the work will be completed in May 2012,” the World Bank said in a statement posted on its website,

The objective of the public consultations is to receive feedback and suggestions from stakeholders on the draft results and preliminary findings of the study programme, according to the World Bank, which said that the comments will be taken into account in the final reports.

“When the study programme is completed, it will help inform further World Bank involvement, which would be subject to a request from the three parties,” the World Bank said.

The study programme involves the preparation of five interrelated studies: a feasibility study, an environmental and social assessment, a study of alternatives (which examines other options available to the beneficiary parties to address the degradation of the Dead Sea and the production of additional potable water by means other than the identified water conveyance option), a Red Sea modelling study and a Dead Sea modelling study.

Preliminary results of the study programme showed that a large-scale conveyance of seawater from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea is technically possible, but might entail risks as well as environmental and social impact.

The studies are led by the World Bank and implemented by international consulting companies and panels of experts in various fields.

The Red-Dead project is part of international efforts to save the Dead Sea, which has been shrinking at the rate of one metre per year, largely due to the diversion of water from the Jordan River for agricultural and industrial use.–to-be-completed-in-may—-world-bank