The World Bank (WB) will kick off a study on alternatives to save the shrinking Dead Sea later this year, including the Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Program, local daily Jordan Times quoted a WB official on Monday.
"The World Bank is currently working on the terms of reference for the study of alternatives which is expected to take less than six months and will be conducted by a three-member entity representing Jordan, Palestinians and Israel," said Alexander McPhail, who is a senior water and sanitation specialist and task team leader of the Red Sea-Dead Sea conveyance studies at the WB.
Alternatives to be studied is expected to include stopping extracting water from Dead Sea's main source Jordan River, a Mediterranean-Dead Sea canal option or extending a water pipeline from Turkey, as well as the current Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Program, which was tabled in 2005, according to McPhail, who was in Amman Sunday to take part in a public stakeholders meeting to review progress on the Red Sea-Dead Sea program.
Another option is taking no action since all alternatives might prove unfeasible, added McPhail.
Experts have warned that the water level of Dead Sea is dropping at the rate of one meter every year, and its surface area currently stands at 630 square km, shrinking from historical 950 square km.