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...worth the thought

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...worth the thought

Postby repulsewarrior » Sun May 01, 2016 4:37 am

...water being a topic that is engaging for us all.

...a sea, a whole sea will disappear, because of our consumption, until now at least, mindlessly.

In the middle of the desert, the body of clear blue water, the Dead Sea, may end up living up to its name.

The deepest salty body of water in the lowest part of the earth is drying up at an alarming rate that is jeopardizing its future together with the residents living around it.

As the haze that engulfs the water in the early hours of the morning clears, a beautiful body of water emerges, displaying various shades of blue.

It may look peaceful, but the warning signs telling people not to enter risky places, the large gaping sinkholes in certain areas and the abandoned lifeguard coasts in some beaches paint a different picture.

The Dead Sea is a disaster in the making.

Professor Amotz Agnon is a geologist who has been closely following developments in the Dead Sea since the 1980s.

"The water is dropping and the rate of dropping is about a meter a year on average, it's dropping very, very fast," he says.

One looks at the Dead Sea from above illustrates what Agnon describes clearly. There are steps of dry soil that demonstrate where the water used to be -- far from where it is today.

There are beaches which have been forced to move their lifeguard posts closer every year, leaving a trail of posts as a stark reminder of where the water once was.
The situation in the Dead Sea is a warning that global warming and human intervention have a devastating impact on nature.

Agnon says there are various factors that are contributing to the drying up of this unique body of water. "The main cause is the use of fresh water, the natural water, for agriculture, for drinking, for industrial use, etc."

He adds that the increasingly dry climate in the world and "excessive evaporation" caused by industrial plants in the area are also critical contributors.
Orit Hershtig is the director of the Department of Tourism and Culture in the Regional Council of Megilot Dead Sea.

She herself is resident of the Mizpe Shalem Kibbutz on the western shore of the Dead Sea and has been seeing the gradual retreat of water and its effect on the region.

"To see the coast gradually disappear is a tragedy. Especially because this is a resource that is truly unique internationally, there is nothing like it anywhere else in the world in terms of its healing powers, its beauty and the geological phenomenon's," she says.

The damage is not only to the natural resource but to the residents of the area who make a living from the Dead Sea.

Many of the residents rely on tourism for an income. While Hershtig says the rate of tourists has not yet dropped, but the expenses that are entailed in dealing with the situation are constantly rising.

"The owners of beaches have to deal with the constant distancing of the coast line. This means that if you build a restaurant or if you have dressing rooms, lifeguard stations and a beach bar, as soon as the level decreases each year by a meter, you have to run after the coast line also in terms of infrastructure. You cannot build permanent things. This is very very difficult to deal with and it is really a very very high cost for the local businesses." Hershtig explains.

"Aside from the fact that it is a huge financial blow to the resident's livelihood here, it is really an amazing natural resource," she adds.

According to Hershtig, the Israeli government is helping with increased budgets to deal with the ongoing challenges and the new ones that constantly emerge, but a wider plan is needed.

Professor Agnon says the damage can still be contained. "Governments are starting to realize that we need to invest in preserving it, to think carefully how to use it further. So I think we are still in a situation that the damage is controllable," he says.

Agnon says the aim is to achieve a balance -- a "budget that is around zero" -- between fresh water that arrives from creeks in the area and the amount of water pumped by humans. Currently he describes the use of water from the Dead Sea as "excessive."

The Israeli government will have to prioritize the issue together with the Jordanian government, as both share the basin.

The help cannot only be financial aid to local businesses, but a wider solution that will tame the pumping of water by industries and limit human intervention in the area.

Of course, a global effort to combat global warming will be beneficial to the special area.

When asked if the world can do without the Dead Sea, Agnon takes a minute to think. "I guess we don't need it, but it's a pearl. It's a gemstone given to us by nature. As a geologist, I hate to think of that situation."

But, if actions were not be taken soon, the direction the Dead Sea is going to is clear -- it is not going to get better on its own.
— (Xinhua) ... 609-69.htm
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Re: ...worth the thought

Postby Robin Hood » Sun May 01, 2016 8:41 am

Man just seems to destroy everything they interfere with ............ same happened here! :(

Shrinking Aral Sea (Interesting time lapse views 2000 to 2015.)

[b]In the 1960s, the Soviet Union undertook a major water diversion project on the arid plains of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. The region’s two major rivers, fed by snowmelt and precipitation in faraway mountains, were used to transform the desert into farms for cotton and other crops. Before the project, the Syr Darya and the Amu Darya rivers flowed down from the mountains, cut northwest through the Kyzylkum Desert, and finally pooled together in the lowest part of the basin. The lake they made, the Aral Sea, was once the fourth largest in the world. ... al_sea.php
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