by Staff Writers
Amman (AFP) Nov 28, 2016
Jordan said Monday it had chosen five international consortiums to build the first phase of a multi-million-dollar canal linking the Red Sea to the shrinking Dead Sea.
The ambitious $1.1 billion project has been in the works for more than a decade and aims to provide much-needed water to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories.
It moved closer to reality in December 2013 when Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority signed a water-sharing deal.
Jordan's water and irrigation ministry in a statement Monday said the consortiums were made up of 20 engineering firms from Asia, Europe and North America.
The first phase of the project involves building a conveyance system to transfer 300 million cubic metres (10.6 billion cubic feet) of water each year from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea.
The ministry has said it would also see the construction of a desalination plant with a capacity of 65-85 million cubic metres a year.
Experts have warned that the Dead Sea, the lowest and saltiest body of water in the world, is on course to dry out by 2050.
Its degradation started in the 1960s when Israel, Jordan and Syria began to divert water from the Jordan River, the main source for the Dead Sea.
Water is a rare resource in Jordan, where 92 percent of the land is desert. The country is home to around seven million people and the population is growing with an influx of refugees from Syria.
Several environmental groups have warned that the project could undermine the fragile ecosystem of the Dead Sea, which they fear could be contaminated by water from the Red Sea.
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|