Monday, July 23, 2012

Israel plans to revive ailing Jordan river

Youths bathe in a stream at the Valley of Springs near the Jordan River July 16, 2012.
The Biblical river, which has inspired countless spirituals and folk songs,
is just a narrow stream in many parts - polluted and stagnant.
But that's about to change. Thanks to desalination and wastewater recycling,
there is more fresh water to go around and the Jordan will slowly
be returned to its former glory.
Picture taken July 16, 2012. Credit: Reuters/Baz Ratner
The River Jordan is neither deep nor wide these days.

The Biblical river, which has inspired countless spirituals and folk songs, is just a narrow stream in many parts - polluted and stagnant. But that's about to change.

Thanks to desalination and wastewater recycling, there is more fresh water to go around and the Jordan will slowly be returned to its former glory....

Today, as a result of years of overtaxing for irrigation and drinking water, it snakes irresolutely along the valley from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea. As far as the eye can see, it is just a few meters wide.

"It's five percent of what once flowed," said Ben Ari, who is one of the rehabilitation project leaders. "You can easily walk across without getting your head wet."

Almost all the water that feeds the river is diverted by Syria, Jordan and Israel before it reaches the south, he explained.

But for the first time, Israel -- which is two-thirds arid and has battled drought since its establishment 64 years ago -- has a water surplus. -- Ari Rabinovitch, Reuters

To read more, click here.

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