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News World Bank promotes Dead-Red Sea canal

A long-discussed plan to stretch a canal from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea will be advanced in a Jerusalem meeting called by the World Bank on August 12 that will be open to the public, The Jerusalem Post has learned. Similar meetings will be held in Amman and Ramallah. The Dead Sea's shores are shared by Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority, who formed a committee with the World Bank to sponsor a $15 million study on building a canal to bring water from the Red Sea. The proposal includes plans to connect the Red Sea and Dead Sea via pipeline and open canal through the Arava Valley, a desalination plant at the Dead Sea, and the largest water pumping station in the world between Aqaba and Eilat to bring 1.8 billion cubic meters of sea water a year into the canal. By comparison, Israel's National Water Carrier brings 200 million to 400 million cubic meters a year from Lake Kinneret to the center of the country. To pump the water from the desalination station up the more! than 1,000 meters of elevation to Jerusalem, for example, would cost $1 to $1.50 per cubic meter - almost a dollar more than a cubic meter of water currently costs in Israel. It could also have major ramifications for the environment.

According to Dr. Clive Lipchin, research director at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies at Kibbutz Ketura, seawater is the main threat to the Arava groundwater. President Shimon Peres, who has supported a Dead-Red canal for many years, reiterated in his inaugural address on July 15 his intention to build three lakes in the Arava Valley and turn it into a tourist hotspot - a proposal that Lipchin said should be investigated with great caution. The latest proposal is estimated by the World Bank to cost $5 billion.

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News type Inbrief
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Source of information Jerusalem Post, Israel, July 25, 2007
Geographical coverage Jordan, Israel, Egypt
News date 25/09/2007
Working language(s) ENGLISH