1. The Red Sea – Dead Sea Water Conveyance Study (World Bank)
• Since ancient times the Dead Sea has been a centerpiece to the history and development of three cultural and religious traditions.
• The Dead Sea and its unique environment are changing. The water level has been dropping at an alarming rate for decades.
• If no urgent action is taken to remedy the situation, the decline is likely to cause severe environmental damage. Such damage has already been incurred in the Dead Sea area as a result of the declining level.
• Eighty percent of the decline in the level of the sea since ancient times has occurred within the last 30 years. If nothing is done irreversible damages are predicted in the very near future.
• The regional countries and the international community view the Dead Sea as a site of cardinal environmental, economic, and cultural importance as well as a site of international significance.
• “Saving the Dead Sea” is important to avoid the degradation of its environment, to protect its industries, tourism and investments, and to contribute to relations among neighbors and strengthen peace in the region.
• A shared vision of the three beneficiary parties (Jordan, Israel and Palestine) to save the Dead Sea through the conveyance of the Red Sea water to the Dead Sea was announced in the World Economic Forum at the Dead Sea in the year 2005 aiming to:-
Desalinate water/generate energy. The desalinated water will help solving the water shortage in Jordan ,which is reaching an alarming level, and in the region.
Build a symbol of peace and cooperation in the Middle East.
- Save the Dead Sea from environmental degradation.
• Consequently, the three parties requested the World Bank to manage the Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Study program, in order to conduct a comprehensive feasibility and environmental study based on this shared vision.
• The study was financed by eight donor countries (France, Sweden, Netherlands, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Greece), and its final reports were submitted to the beneficiary parties in 2013. (The study reports could be found at the study program website: www.worldbank.org/rds).
• The study results proved that a Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Project is feasible in condition that the part related to saving the Dead See has to be financed by grants from the donor countries since the Dead Sea is an international heritage and its saving has to be the responsibility of the international community.
• After reviewing the reports by the beneficiary parties, and due to the high cost of the project (around 11 billion US dollars), they signed in December 9, 2013 a memorandum of understanding at the World Bank in Washington to start the preparations for the development of a first phase that will comprise at smaller scale the elements of the full Red Sea Dead Sea Project.
• This RSDS-Phase I will comprise the installation of a desalination plant north of Aqaba city with a capacity of 80-100 mcm/year of desalinated water and convey the resulting brine to the Dead Sea to participate at reducing the degradation of its level.