The Dying Dead Sea

Moritz Küstner



When the wellness resort „En Gedi Spa” opened 30 years ago, the guests could jump

right in to the salty water of the Dead Sea. Nowadays they have to take a small train

to reach the coastline that lies 1.5 Km away from the changing rooms. Every year the

water level of the Dead Sea falls around 1 m and thereby puts the unique ecosystem

in existential danger. Sinkholes on the shore are one consequence of the over use

from the Jordan River, the main water sours of the Dead Sea. The river is stowed and

provides Israel and Jordan with drinking water. The rapidly growing agriculture also

consumes vast amounts of water and the one million Syrian refugees, that have fled

to Jordan do their part for an increased demand in fresh water. To save the Dead Sea

and produce water for Jordan, Jordan and Israel are working on a huge infrastructural

project to transport water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea - through the middle of

the desert. The project carries an estimated cost oft ten billion dollars and is supposed

to produce hydropower to run a desalination facility, which provides Jordan with

water and the left salt water could fill the Dead Sea. Environmentalists see this plan

critical, because of the impacts it could have on the fragile ecosystem from both, the

Red and the Dead Sea.

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  • Tourist are showering at the wellness resort „En Gedi Spa“ to remove the aggressive salt water from their skin.

  • In the 70´s the Dead Sea
    was one big lake, today
    there is a big area dried out
    between the natural Dead
    Sea and the evaporation
    basins of the „Dead Sea
    Workers“ factory.

  • Elad Shadmot is a farmer
    building an algal feld. The
    rapidly growing agriculture
    in the desert area consumes
    vast amounts of water.

  • A Russian Tourist poses for
    his girlfriend in the healthy
    Dead Sea Mud.

  • The pump station provide
    the „Dead Sea Workers“
    factory with water which is
    rich in rare elements such
    as bromine, magnesium
    and potash.

  • 40 % of the annual one
    meter water level drop of
    the Dead Sea is caused by
    the fertilizer plants.

  • The dried out river carries
    water only for a few days
    per year

  • Every year the Dead Seas
    water level drops for about
    one meter. Tourists are
    resting on plastic chairs
    inside the healing water.

  • Years ago it was possible to
    make a boat trip over the
    Dead Sea, nowadays the
    water level has dropped too
    much for that and all piers
    are lying try.

  • Nothing is growing in the
    desert if not a human
    provides the plans with
    water, like this flowers at
    the tourist place „En Bokek“.

  • The wellness resort „En
    Gedi Spa” was built in
    the mid-80´s right at the
    sea-shore. Because of the
    dropping waterlevel it now
    is located one and a half
    kilometers away from the
    water. The guests have to
    take a special train to get
    from the changing rooms
    to the seashore.

  • A hotel and resort district
    in En Bokek, where
    thousands of tourists bath
    in dead sea water every day,
    to cure there skin disease.

  • Elin Beaumont from Canada
    is covered with Dead Sea
    Mud which she bought in
    her Hotel.

  • Over Night a sinkhole destroyed
    the camping space
    in En Gedi. 4000 sinkholes
    have emerged on the
    Israelian side of the river
    since the 1990s. They are
    caused by the dropping
    water level.

  • A Banana plantation
    besides the Jordan River,
    which is the main water
    supplier for the Dead Sea.

  • A Channel guides the
    water from the natural Sea
    to the evaporation basins.

  • An abandoned border post
    lying next to the border
    between Jordan and the
    West Bank.

  • Two Tourist standing in the
    water in En Bokek