Target: Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank
Goal: Do not approve the Red Sea-Dead Sea Canal due to its environmental consequences
The World Bank might approve a $10 billion project to create a canal linking the Red and Dead Seas. Some believe the canal will desalinate the Dead Sea and provide cheap hydroelectricity for Jordan, Israel, and Palestine. Others hope the canal will encourage peace between Israelis and Palestinians. However, environmentalists assert that the plan will harm the environment irreparably.
The Dead Sea is drying up at a rate of 3.5 feet per year. Its surface has diminished by one-third over the last 50 years. The Jordan River, which is a traditional source of water for the Dead Sea, has been diverted instead to irrigate Jordanian food crops. The consequent swaths of dried-up mudflats have caused dangerous sinkholes, an unsavory result for tourists and businesses alike. Several big names in the beauty industry exploit Dead Sea salts to create spa treatments.
The proposed canal would utilize the force of gravity, bringing water from a higher elevation in the Red Sea to desalination and hydroelectric plants in the lower Dead Sea. However, the Red Sea and the Dead Sea do not hold the same type of water, leading environmentalists to doubt the plan’s merit. The biologically diverse Red Sea water, they say, will not mix with the salty Dead Sea water. Mixing the two types of water will create red algae blooms, which will, in essence, turn the Dead Sea to slime. Another concern is the pipeline itself, which will run through an active seismic zone. If the pipe should rupture during a seismic shift, it would contaminate fresh groundwater throughout the Arava Valley. Finally, a necessary pumping station for the canal might negatively upset the Red Sea coral reef. Ask World Bank leaders to deny plans for a Red Dead Canal.
Dear Mr. Kim,
Building a canal between the Red and Dead Seas would be detrimental to the environment of both seas and the Arava Valley between them. Although there is great merit in the idea to provide hydroelectricity for nearby countries and promote peace between Israel and Palestine, the pipeline is simply scientifically unsound. Biologists assert that water from the healthy Red Sea will not mix effectively with Dead Sea water. Instead, it will create red algae blooms that will turn the lovely, blue Dead Sea to slime. Furthermore, the intended pipeline would run through an active seismic zone. Should it be compromised by an earthquake, the salt water within will contaminate fresh groundwater throughout the Arava Valley. Finally, building pumping infrastructure in the Red Sea will likely do great damage to the coral reef.
Although this plan was founded with good intentions for the people of Jordan, Palestine, and Israel, it will cause the environment irreparable harm. This being the case, please reconsider plans to construct a canal between the Red and Dead Seas.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Laura Padgett via Fotopedia