Aug 05,2017

The fate of the Dead Sea, with its shrinking water levels, has become an increasing concern not only to environmentalists but also for its riparian states which view the salt lake as a symbol of ancient civilisations and a tourist attraction.

Pundits differ on how and why the Dead Sea water levels have constantly dropped over the years in a noticeable way that has come to threaten its very existence.

Some experts have concluded that climate change is the main culprit, but a noted Jordanian geologist has now come forward with a new explanation that sheds light on ways and means to save the water body from demise.

Professor Nizar Abu Jaber has offered a different explanation on why the water levels of the Dead Sea are shrinking rapidly.

Abu Jaber suggested that diversion in the headwaters feeding the sea over the decades is the principal factor that is causing the Dead Sea to lose much of its natural water sources to compensate for the high evaporation rate due to the prevailing hot weather in the Jordan Valley.

The expert noted that Israel, Jordan, Syria and Palestine have been diverting much of the tributaries to the Dead Sea, resulting in the loss of its natural water replenishment sources.

“It is unrealistic to say that climate change played a significant role in this decline, and if it did, it would be a small and difficult contribution to estimate,” said the Jordanian geologist.

Whatever the real reason or reasons for the decline in the Dead Sea’s water level are, most probably they are due to a combination of many factors, especially the diversions of the sources of the Jordan River over and above climate change throughout the past decades.

Today, the Dead Sea water level stands at 435 metres below sea level and threatens to reach a lower level if serious measures are not taken to alleviate the natural or man-made conditions that could lead to its eventual demise.

This means that all the riparian countries must get together and pool their resources and know-how to save the Dead Sea.

By doing this, they are not only serving themselves, but preserving a natural heritage site of great value to all.