The Dead Sea may meet an untimely demise as new reports warn of its increased shrinking rates that have reached new highs of 3.3 feet per year.
The Dead Sea is an approximately 394 square miles water body that stretches 50 miles long and 11 miles long. Situated at around 1,300 feet below sea level it is considered the lowest point in the world.
Also known as the Salt Sea, it is at the located in in the Syrian-African rift valley, right in its center as it is also bordered by Israel, Jordan, and Palestine.
The water body received both its names because of the high levels of salt it registers. The high sodium chlorine and various other salts levels allow any object to float to the surface.
As such, the Dead Sea is the only place where one cannot drown. Contrary to belief, the salinity levels have also lead to its most known name.
The same salts which allow one to flow also impend marine life from developing or thriving.
Considered one of nature’s greatest miracles, the sea is now at risk as its shrinking rate has been observed to have significantly increased.
The EcoPeace Middle East organizations reported that the Dead Sea seems to be shrinking at a 3.3 feet per year rate.
According to the same ecological organization, the blame for this goes mostly to humans.
Humans have affected the area through a great variety of methods, some related to the areas healing properties, other to its geography.
The water’s high salt mineral levels have a therapeutic effect and have been known to cure various affections.
As its beneficial effects on skin, lung, and heart conditions have been noted, humans have begun to extract and filch the natural springs.
The sea has also lost one of its water sources as the Jordan River watercourse has been diverted and no longer offers a constant supply.
Various pipelines, dams, and storage reservoirs constructions have also affected the water levels and sources of the Dead Sea.
According to the ecological organization, the lack and barring of its traditional water sources is the biggest factor in the sea’s rapid shrinking.
Last year, in an effort to save the Dead Sea, two of its neighboring countries signed a deal that should help replenish the water levels.
Israel and Jordan agreed on a $900 million contract which would include various measures that should both limit the water loss and also increase the sea levels.
Amongst the deal’s proposed measures is the construction of a canal connecting the Dead Sea to the Red Sea.
The canal should offer a constant water source as about 300 million cubic meters of Red Sea water would be pumped annually into the other Sea.
In an effort to promote and draw attention to the dwindling natural formation, a marathon was also organized so as to raise awareness.
30 international marathon swimmers were the first to swim across the 9-mile stretch separating Jordan from Israel. The marathon was not an easy one as the declining water levels are also getting increasingly saltier.
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