Dead Sea's disappearance picks up pace

Tuesday, June 10, 2008 |  by Staff Writer

Israel's Hydrology Service and the Mishmar Hamiflas organization that independently monitors water levels in Israel both warned on Tuesday that the speed with which the Dead Sea is drying up is picking up pace.

Israel National News reported that the level of the Dead Sea dropped by nearly four inches last month. The Dead Sea dropped by only three inches the previous month.

"We are witnesses, not only to the continued fall of the water levels (in the Dead Sea), but also to the increased speed of this drop. This fact shows us that the need for more freshwater in the Dead Sea is not slowing, but rising," said a spokesman for Mishmar Hamiflas.

The Dead Sea has been shrinking for decades due to massive water diversion from the Jordan River, the main source of fresh water feeding the lifeless lake. Today, some 90% of the Jordan's water is diverted for private consumption and agricultural use in Israel and neighboring Jordan before it reaches the Dead Sea.

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