Jerusalem, September 7 (ANI): New data has suggested that the Dead Sea is evaporating faster each year rather than decreasing at a steady rate.
According to a report in the Jerusalem Post, the data was provided by the Hydrological Service and geologist Eli Raz.
The sea evaporated 18 cm. in August and 19 cm. in July, dropping to 422.83 meters below sea level.
The drop-off rate over the last decade has been 1.016 meters per year. Now, it has increased to 1.29 meters annually, according to the latest numbers.
The sea has dropped roughly 25 meters in the last 33 years and over 10 meters in the last decade.
Fresh water used to flow down the Jordan River to replenish the Dead Sea, thus keeping it constant throughout the millennia.
However, in the 1960s, the water was diverted into the National Water Carrier for the populace to drink.
These days, the only thing that flows into the Dead Sea is raw sewage and effluence from the fish ponds along the Jordan River.
In addition, the industrial processes being carried out at the Dead Sea to harvest minerals also contribute to the evaporation rate.
Regional governments are aware of the problem and have commissioned the World Bank to examine the feasibility of conveying water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea.
Some of the water would replenish the Dead Sea and some of it would be desalinated for Jordanian use, one of the 10 most water-poor countries in the world.
The feasibility studies are supposed to take until early 2011 to complete. However, there has been an increasing call by local environmentalists for alternatives to the Red-Dead Canal project to be considered.
Concurrently, the Israelis and Jordanians have recently approved a pilot conveyance project to test what effect water from the Red Sea would have on the Dead Sea.
Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) has been at the forefront of pushing for the alternatives study.
"The terms of reference for the alternatives study have now been approved and it is supposed to launch in October," Friends of the Earth Israel Director Gidon Bromberg told The Jerusalem Post. (ANI)