Left: November 9, 1984. Right: November 28, 2011. The Dead Sea lies in the Jordan Rift Valley, bordering Jordan, Israel and the West Bank. It is one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water, too salty to harbor any life other than bacteria. Minerals from the sea, however, are extracted for various industrial purposes. Mineral evaporation ponds have replaced open water in the southern part of the sea, as can be seen in the 2011 image. In recent decades, the Dead Sea has shrunk as water has been diverted from the Jordan River, the sea’s main tributary. A plan has been announced to replenish the Dead Sea by building a canal from the Red Sea, providing fresh (desalinated) water to Jordan en route.
1984 image taken by the Thematic Mapper sensor onboard Landsat 5. 2011 image taken by the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus sensor onboard Landsat 7. Source: USGS Landsat Missions Gallery, “The Dead Sea,” U.S. Department of the Interior / U.S. Geological Survey.
The World Water forum started this Monday in Marseille; the famous Mediterranean harbor town in southern France. The French media are covering the big international conference extensively.
The Daily ‘La Croix’ Used 4 of our images in a ‘water special’ on Saturday and the daily paper on Monday. Including the first page on Saturday.
They used one image of Ronald of the Mekong, two of his pictures of the Nile and one image of Célia of the Dead Sea / Jordan River.
Little is left of the Jordan River. Most of the water is diverted for irrigating farmlands and supplying cities. Few rivers have spawned conflict like the Jordan River has. Years of below average rainfall forced the bordering countries to search for alternative sources. The ultimate project is a proposed conveyance system between the Red Sea and Dead Sea. ‘It is the only major project in which Israel, the Palestine Authorities and Jordan cooperate.’