The Dead Sea - A Sea that is Sadly "Living" up to its Name

Written by Haitham Sabbah

The Dead Sea - A Sea That Is Sadly

A couple of weeks ago,repparttar news headlines mentioned lightlyrepparttar 144206 new "Israel, Arabs agreement to save Dead Sea:"

Jordan , Israel andrepparttar 144207 Palestinian Authority said they had agreed terms for a feasibility study on transferring water fromrepparttar 144208 Red Sea torepparttar 144209 Dead Sea, to saverepparttar 144210 world's lowest sea from vanishing.

The two-year study, costing 15 million dollars, will investigaterepparttar 144211 social and environmental impact of conveying large quantities of water through a 200-kilometer (120-mile) conduit betweenrepparttar 144212 two seas.

Followingrepparttar 144213 feasibility study,repparttar 144214 project will take around five years to complete. Butrepparttar 144215 project in its second phase involves building power generation and water desalination plants to supply electricity and fresh water to Jordan, Israel andrepparttar 144216 Palestine.

Ok, so what's in it? If I'm not mistaken, this meansrepparttar 144217 following:

1. Ifrepparttar 144218 feasibility study starts now, that is June 2005, it will finish June 2007. 2. Ifrepparttar 144219 feasibility study say go, and being optimisticrepparttar 144220 project starts by Jan 2008. 3. Trusting that funds will not be disturbed likerepparttar 144221 'Disi Project Funds' (Arabic), phase one should be ready by 2013. 4. No news when phase two is suppose to finish!

The Wadi Arabah ProjectWillrepparttar 144222 Dead Sea "live" until then?

Well, whenrepparttar 144223 Ein Gedi Spa opened in 1986 to pamper visitors with massages, mud wraps and therapeutic swims, customers walked just a few steps fromrepparttar 144224 main building to take their salty dip inrepparttar 144225 Dead Sea. Nineteen years later, the water level has dropped so drastically thatrepparttar 144226 shoreline is three-quarters of a mile away. A red tractor hauls customers torepparttar 144227 spa's beach and back in covered wagons. See full article by John Ward Anderson, in Washington Post Foreign Service.

The water level ofrepparttar 144228 Dead Sea has declined over 21 m from 1930 to 1997, and alone 12 m inrepparttar 144229 last 20 years. In less than a centuryrepparttar 144230 water level has fallen by approximately 25 m. Inrepparttar 144231 past few years,repparttar 144232 water level fell at a rate of 80-100 cm per year, withrepparttar 144233 average rate of fall accelerating in recent years. As a result,repparttar 144234 Dead Sea surface area has shrunk by about 30% inrepparttar 144235 last 20 years.[source]

Atrepparttar 144236 current rate,repparttar 144237 more shallow southern part ofrepparttar 144238 sea will be gone less than 50 years.

Several projects have been proposed overrepparttar 144239 years to saverepparttar 144240 Dead Sea, andrepparttar 144241 one that now seemsrepparttar 144242 most likely to be carried out is that of a pipeline fromrepparttar 144243 Red Sea torepparttar 144244 Dead Sea. This plan is not new. Already inrepparttar 144245 19th century, whenrepparttar 144246 actual level ofrepparttar 144247 Dead Sea was first measured, plans were developed to userepparttar 144248 height difference to create a hydroelectric power plant. Most plans focused on a canal fromrepparttar 144249 Mediterranean torepparttar 144250 Dead Sea.

Even though these plans to saverepparttar 144251 Dead Sea have been well received by many, there are also drawbacks. What will happen if water fromrepparttar 144252 Dead Sea and fromrepparttar 144253 Red Sea are mixed? There are studies that suggest thatrepparttar 144254 Dead Sea would turn white, or even pink. Withdrawing large bodies of water fromrepparttar 144255 Gulf of Aqaba might seriously upset and possibly destroy its already fragile ecosystem. Ecological investigations have only just begun.

And what aboutrepparttar 144256 archaeology ofrepparttar 144257 region? One aspect that has received virtually no attention so far isrepparttar 144258 impact thatrepparttar 144259 construction of a pipeline, let alone a canal, would have onrepparttar 144260 Wadi Arabah and especiallyrepparttar 144261 hill country betweenrepparttar 144262 bottom andrepparttar 144263 eastern plateau, which is an area with a rich history covering every period from Palaeolithic to late Islamic. Hundreds of sites have been found here in a number of surveys, and sincerepparttar 144264 area has still only been partly surveyed, hundreds of sites are still waiting to be discovered. Therefore, regardless of what routerepparttar 144265 pipeline/canal will take, it is bound to affect tens, maybe hundreds of archaeological sites, many of which have only been recorded in surveys, but never extensively investigated.

Shrinking Sea

Even ifrepparttar 144266 project takes place, there is maybe a 20- to 30-year lifetime for this project because that is how long it will take forrepparttar 144267 Dead Sea to regain its natural level. Onrepparttar 144268 other hand, when you considerrepparttar 144269 vast capital costs,repparttar 144270 economic and political sense is not clear. Also, becauserepparttar 144271 desalinated water will need to be pumped long distances and to a high altitude to get where it is needed,repparttar 144272 cost ofrepparttar 144273 water will be very high.

Countries with less than 500 cubic metres of water per year are described as suffering from scarcity of water. The UK has around 1,500 cubic metres per person, Israel 340, Jordan 140, andrepparttar 144274 Palestinian Authority only 70.

The Red Sea-Dead Sea canal is expected to generate 850 million cubic metres of drinkable water, almostrepparttar 144275 existing annual water use of Jordan, which would be divided between Jordan, Israel andrepparttar 144276 Palestinian Authority.

The Role of Scenarios inrepparttar 144277 Dead Sea Project:

The role of scenarios is to create a number of realistic scenarios for possible futures ofrepparttar 144278 Dead Sea Basin. These scenarios will reflect trajectories or future directions that differ from one another and therefore offer leaders and policy makers inrepparttar 144279 regionrepparttar 144280 opportunity to test present strategies for water management and perhaps develop new ones. The time frame ofrepparttar 144281 scenarios is from 2005 to 2025. Three driving forces were assumed to have an order of magnitude impacts onrepparttar 144282 system. These were:

1. The level of Cooperation betweenrepparttar 144283 three riparian countries;

2. The role agriculture will play inrepparttar 144284 future; and

3. The type of investment in water related projects

The following are brief summaries ofrepparttar 144285 realistic scenarios. It is worth mentioning here thatrepparttar 144286 scenarios wererepparttar 144287 result of synthesis and deliberations first amongstrepparttar 144288 project partners and second of information collected inrepparttar 144289 Focus group Meetings and from participation in relevant conferences and workshops.

Smoking Ban - Fair or Foul?

Written by Dan Buglio

Smoking Bans - Fair or Foul?  

By Dan Buglio, June - 2005

City halls and town councils are packed with people arguing both sides of this heated debate.  Should we ban smoking in bars, restaurants and other public places or not?   I pose this question:  Didrepparttar government intervene because every bar and restaurant has state ofrepparttar 143484 art smoke eater technology installed - providing a comfortable, safe and odor free dining or drinking experience?  I doubt it. 

I may not make any friends here, but I say that it isrepparttar 143485 very same bar and restaurant owners who cry aboutrepparttar 143486 smoking bans putting  them out of business that actually broughtrepparttar 143487 smoking bans upon themselves.  For those of you who have invested inrepparttar 143488 right smoke eater technology, my apologies.  But look around.  Most bars, night clubs and restaurants haven't done enough... or anything at all.  Why not?  Don't these owners realize it's their health too?  Bartenders and owners working in a smoky bar are 50% more likely to develop lung cancer than those working in a smoke free environment.  Yes, 50% more likely!

I don't smoke.  Never have, never will.  I haterepparttar 143489 stuff.  But in spite of that, I feel that a bar or restaurant  has a right to allow smoking in their privately owned business.  The customer also has a right to not be a patron.  It's a free country, do as you wish.  Unfortunately, our government feels they need to get involved to protectrepparttar 143490 staff and customers becauserepparttar 143491 bar owners haven't.  

So what should we do about smoking in bars, night clubs and restaurants?  My vote is that it should be up torepparttar 143492 owner ofrepparttar 143493 establishment to decide.  If allowing smoking causes a bar or restaurant to gain or lose business, that is their choice.  Many people argue in favor ofrepparttar 143494 health ofrepparttar 143495 bartenders and wait staff.  Shouldn't they be provided a safe place to work?  Again, it's a matter of choice.  If you don't want to work in a smoky bar, don't work there or push your management to get some quality smoke eaters.  As a customer, if you don't want to eat in a smoky restaurant, don't eat there.  There are plenty of alternatives.  Simple right?

Torepparttar 143496 owners who cry foul when their city or town bans smoking, what are you waiting for?  Asrepparttar 143497 owner of a company selling air purifiers, air cleaners and smoke

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