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    21 July

    | 2020 | 10:00

    Developing a Long-Term Policy for the Dead Sea Basin -Steering Committee

    • Invites Only
    • Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research, Radak 20, Jerusalem
    • Invites Only
    • Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research, Radak 20, Jerusalem
    Developing a Long-Term Policy for the Dead Sea Basin -Steering Committee

    Developing a Long-Term Policy for the Dead Sea Basin

    The Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research established a joint initiative following Government Decision 3742 (Hebrew), pertaining to “dealing with the damages caused by sinkholes around the Dead Sea”, aimed at developing a long-term policy (until 2070) for the Dead Sea basin. Other partners in this initiative are the Geological Survey of Israel and the Dead Sea Drainage Authority.

    In this meeting, the inter-ministerial steering committee developing the policy paper, convened to discuss scenarios for change in the Dead Sea basin. The work process was presented, and comments and guidelines received from the team, which consists of a number of bodies and interested parties. These include the Ministry of Transportation, the Ministry of Finance and other governmental offices, environmental organizations such as the Nature and Parks Authority, and local authorities from the Dead Sea area.

    Presentation – in Hebrew
    The Dead Sea suffers from a constant water deficit, and as result the sea level declines by approximately 1.15 meters per year. This caused geological phenomena such as sinkholes and the migration of springs, influencing the civil engineering infrastructures in the region, as well as the ecology around the Dead Sea, and tourism to the area. In writing the policy paper, the authors’ starting point is that the current water deficit in the Dead Sea basin, and the changes this brought about, are the result of human interference, principally the drawing off of most of the freshwater previously flowing to the basin by Israel, Syria and Jordan.

    The Future of the Dead Sea Basin – Scenarios for Examination

    First scenario – “business as usual” – baseline scenario

    Second scenario – interfering with the causes of the water deficit: shutting down the Dead Sea Works, reducing pumping in the Sea of Galilee.

    Third scenario – interfering by means of the Two Seas Canal (also referred to as the Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance) – 300 or 800 million cubic meters per year.

    These three scenarios for dealing with the crisis involve different levels of interference, as to all the causes of the water deficit. The scenarios relate both to the causes of water being drawn from the Dead Sea, and to the various possibilities of having water flow to the Dead Sea. 

    The team is managed by geologist Amir Idelman, and is coordinated by the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research. Among its members are Kaplan Planners Ltd – responsible for the regional and environmental planning, Pareto Group – responsible for the economic aspects, Ecolog Engineering Ltd – managing the engineering aspects, the Geological Survey, Eli Raz on geological issues and Amos Bein dealing with hydro-geology.

    The final outcome will be a document offering a current data-based situation report, discussing both the present and the future of the area (till 2070). The document will present an analysis of trends vis-à-vis the changes occurring in the basin, and according to the different scenarios, will include substantial policy recommendations to deal with the challenges. 

    The policy recommendations will refer to the following – geology, hydro-geology, ecology, flora and fauna, planning, and engineering, as well as to the economic implications of implementing each scenario. 

    This initiative was established as a response to a prior joint project, which was concluded in 2006. That project resulted in the publication of the Dead Sea Policy Report to the Year 2030 (In Hebrew), and its recommendations have been embedded in the daily routines of a number of governmental offices.