Deputy Prime Minister of Israel, Minister of energy and water resources Silvan Shalom, and Minister of water resources of Jordan Hazem al-Nasser announced in the evening of Monday, November 30, on the publication of an international tender for the construction of a canal between the Red and Dead seas.
The channel is intended to replenish water in the Dead sea drying up, but also become a source of electricity and fresh water for Jordan and the Israeli settlements in the arava desert.
The Israeli-Jordanian-Palestinian project will be implemented with support from the world Bank, the United States and several European Union countries. In the framework of the tender shall be selected by the company, which will construct the canal and operate it for 25 years.
In the first phase of the project will be constructed desalination plant in Jordan, North of Aqaba, which will supply desalinated water to the Israeli settlements in the arava and the Jordanian villages in the area of Aqaba. Water with a high concentration of salt would be dumped into the Dead sea.
The dispensing station will be installed at Eilat (Aqaba) Gulf, where the water will be delivered via pumps to the highest point on the path between the seas, and then flow to the Dead sea. 650-metre altitude difference on the second section of the pipeline allows you to build a hydroelectric power plant, part of the energy which goes on maintenance of desalination plants.
It should be noted that, in addition to economic and political benefits, the project posed a serious threat to the ecology of the region. Among the possible consequences is the appearance of algae in the Dead sea and the change of its ecosystems, salinization of underground aquifers in the arava desert, damage to coral colonies in the Red sea.