The Red Sea might save the Dead Sea

Abundant water from the Red Sea could replenish the shrinking Dead Sea if Jordan, Israel and the Palestinians decide to commission a tunnel north through the Jordanian desert from the Gulf of Aqaba.

The Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance project would supply the biggest desalination plant in the world, running on its own hydro-electric power and providing Jordan with enough water for the next 40-50 years. Israel and the Palestinian West Bank would also benefit.

A decision on whether to go ahead could come by the end of next year and the likely cost would be in the region of 7 billion dollars.

Some estimates say {the Dead Sea} could more or less dry up in 50 years if no action is taken. Its level is falling by about one meter (three feet) per year due to a sharp decrease in inflow from the Jordan and other rivers whose waters now irrigate fields and to Dead Sea chemical industry use by Israel and Jordan.

in.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idINTRE52I5RS20090319?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0

A 25 ft diameter “pipe” would be humongous. And take quite a while to build.

But it’s only 100 miles, so a smaller diameter pipe could actually be put in place much more quickly. Perhaps as a siphon, with a 1 meter plastic pipe laying right on the surface with occasional pumping stations to get the flow moving and with smaller turbines to generate power at the bottom Dead Sea end. Could be built in a few months. If it worked it would generate enough power to finance expansions to get to the final 400 or so square feet equivalent cross section.

This article has a “map” with the proposed route:

geotimes.org/nov02/NN_dead.html

Personally, I think this is a really cool idea.

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