Dead Sea Basin Research

One of the Center for Transboundary Water Management’s  main areas of focus is the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is declining at an alarming rate of one meter and more per year. The reasons for this decline are many but mostly due to the diversion of the source of freshwater to the Dead Sea via the Jordan River by Israel, Jordan and Syria. These countries are using the freshwater that would normally flow to the Dead Sea for domestic and agricultural purposes.

The Arava Institute is currently working on research to try and prevent Dead Sea destruction.

Ongoing Research

  • Developing an environmental impact study on behalf of the World Bank for the ecological impact of the proposed Red Sea Dead Sea conveyance project
  • Developing a regional database on water and land use for the Dead Sea basin together with Jordanian and Palestinian partners
  • Working closely with government agencies to develop practical policy solutions to saving the Dead Sea
  • Working in rural communities in the Dead Sea area in Palestine and Jordan to help improve the communities’ water and wastewater infrastructure
  • Engaging stakeholders throughout the Dead Sea basin on developing cooperative strategies to save the Dead Sea. These stakeholders represent government, industry, tourism and farming
  • Developing research on how to accurately map sinkholes along the Dead Sea shoreline and to develop a hazards map for sinkhole hot spots
  • Developing an integrative management plan for the restoration of the Jordan River and the Dead Sea basin in terms of a watershed management approach
  • Working with international consortia to develop sustainable options for saving the Dead Sea
  • Developing a comprehensive analysis of all scenarios that have been proposed over the years for linking the Dead Sea to the Red Sea or to the Mediterranean Sea

Partners and Projects

  • Arava Institute researchers were contracted by the World Bank to participate in a feasibility study of a Red Sea – Dead Sea conveyance. The Arava Institute conducted an environmental impact assessment of the proposed conveyance route on the ecology of the Arava valley. For more information about the World Bank’s feasibility study and the recent announcement by Israel, Palestine and Jordan to move forward with a pilot project please click here.
  • A pre-feasibility study, sponsored by Willner Bros. Ltd. and written by Arava Institute researchers provides a comprehensive summary of previous research done on the Mediterranean-Dead Sea conveyance. It describes four different potential Med-Dead solutions from a historical, economic, engineering, environmental and political perspective. The researchers highlight the potential for the Med-Dead conveyance to contribute to water security, energy security, and food security in the region, factors which have implications for regional cooperation between Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian territories. A copy of the report can be found below.

Publications