Palestine, Israel, Jordan ink Dead Sea deal
Countries surrounding the slowly vanishing Dead Sea agreed to look into building a canal to breathe new life into the lowest and most saline sea on earth.
"Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority on Monday signed an agreement allowing us to go ahead with the feasibility study for this project," said a source at the Jordanian water ministry.
The proposed Two Seas Canal would run from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea, the level of which has dropped by a third since the 1960s and continues to fall by about a meter a year.
Environmental experts have repeatedly warned that the Dead Sea is in danger of drying up as Jordan, Israel and the Palestinians divert the waters of the Jordan River, which feeds it, for agriculture.
The agreement was signed on the Dead Sea by Jordanian Water Minister Raed Abu Saud, Israeli Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer and Palestinian Planning Minister Ghassan al-Khatib.
The proposed canal would bring water from the Red Sea to a power station and a desalination plant in Jordan and would take about five years to build.
"The project will provide around 870 million cubic meters of fresh water a year to the three countries on the Dead Sea, as well as around 550 megawatts of electricity a year," said the Jordanian source, cited by AFP.
The idea for the project has been around for years, but has been stalled by tensions between Israel and the Palestinians.
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