The latest victim of environmental pollution is the Dead Sea also known as Salt Sea. Environmentalists warned that it is drying out at an increasing rate.
The Dead Sea is the Earth’s lowest point, some 1,388 feet below the sea level. According to Eco Peace Middle East, an organization active in environmental peacemaking in the Middle East, the Sea between Israel and Jordan is shrinking by 3.3 feet per year due to human activities.
The water resource being diverted from the sea for the use of a pipeline to supply water to Israel. Scientists believe that another reason the water level is decreasing is mineral extraction. Minerals from the Dead Sea is used in cosmetics and other products.
The Dead Sea needs water from the other natural water resources such as the Jordan River basin. But around the 1960s some of the water sources were diverted.
Another reason is Middle East’s hot dry climate which is difficult for the Sea to fill up itself.
In 2015, Israel and Jordan signed a $900 million deal to stabilize the water level of the Sea. It entails building a canal so that Israel and Jordan the both countries would be able to supply water to both the countries and also to pump much-needed water (some 300 million cubic meters annually) into the Sea. The canal estimated to take three years to complete.
The Dead Sea with 34% salt is a popular tourist destination. People all over the world flocking to the Sea to swim in its salty waters.
Earlier this month, a group of 30 marathon swimmers around the world swam the nine-mile stretch of Dead Sea from Jordan to Israel to bring awareness to the falling water levels. They wore face masks to protect their eyes and mouth. But still one said the water was “like acid burning your eyeballs”.