Yesterday I blogged about a railroad from Haifa to Irbid as reported by Israeli Transportation Minister Meir Sheetrit
Apparently today an interesting development occured when Jordanian transport minister Saoud Nseirat denied that there have been talks over such a project. In all fairness Meir Sheetrit said he was presenting plans for the project, hence the assumption tends to follow that talks took place on some level.
In other developments…
The Red-Dead project (which I think is a funny name because many of our big government projects end up dead and red) is a plan to extend a pipeline that is 200km long which connects the Red Sea to the Dead Sea and therefore pours water from the former into the latter to help stop the drying up process. The pipeline will rise 170 metres above sea level, then drop to 400 metres below sea level into the Dead Sea.
Experts have said the Dead Sea is on a fast course of drying up within the next 50 years at a rate of 1 metre every single year. This is unimaginable considering the amount of investment being injected into the Dead Sea’s economy, mostly in the form of hotels and resorts.
Two key features of the project (other than saving the Dead Sea from dissapearing) is to enable Jordan to generate electricity and provide it with water through a desalination plant. This amounts to 850 million cubic metres of potable water compared to the current 500 million cubic metres deficit as reported by the Jordan Times.
This will involve Jordanians, Palestinians and Israelis and it is still in the study phase since recieving initial funds. The $15.5m feasibility study is partly funded by the World Bank. $3bn is the estimated cost of the final project also being partly funded by the bank.
Interesting Background Info:
– The Dead Sea is called so because it is home to no living organism due to its salt content. Salt in the Dead Sea is at 33% compared to 3% in the Mediterranean.
– The reason for this high salt concentration is because 1 million years ago a major earthquake brought down the sea into the valley which is now the lowest point on the planet.
– Because of this new geography the sea’s main source of water was the Jordan River (which is now almost gone) however this water flows downwards and there are no exit points, so the water evaporates in the heat of the valley, leaving behind…salt.
– One of the earliest recordings of plans for the Dead Sea were by Theodore Herzl who suggested linking the Mediterranean to the Dead Sea to generate electricity for the future state of Israel. Obviously those plans did not turn out so well.
Dead Sea water level