Desert canal?

19 March 2008

The possibility of digging a canal from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea will be considered by 11 companies taking part in a tender from Jordan's Ministry of Water and Irrigation. A two-year study would examine the environmental and social consequences of bringing seawater from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea through a 300-km canal through the desert.

Construction of the canal is expected to take 25 years and cost US$ 1 billion, and the project will include a seawater desalination plant that will provide water for drinking and agriculture for the region.

The Dead Sea has been shrinking in recent decades as water from the Jordan River has been diverted for agricultural and other uses, as well as from evaporation pools used to precipitate various minerals from the water.

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