Segments in this Video

Introduction: Saving the Dead Sea (03:03)


The Dead Sea is geologically, geographically, and historically significant. It is receding and 6,000 sinkholes pock the shoreline; resorts and surrounding infrastructure are evacuated. A massive engineering project is developing a way to replenish the waters.

Hydro Engineering (03:50)

Jordan and Israel border the Dead Sea; water shortages contribute to regional conflicts. The Red Sea Dead Sea Conveyance Project aspires to provide drinking supplies to residents and stabilize the Dead Sea.

Probable Geochemical Consequences (05:34)

The Dead Sea is mineral rich. Scientists experiment with combining its waters and Red Sea brine, finding whitening gypsum crystals. Salt dilution to 25% content could redden the body, turning it into algae breeding grounds.

Associated Hazards (02:47)

Geohydrologist Carmit Ish-Shalom studies sinkholes, attempting to predict their appearance. Dead Sea types form when underground salt layers cave; scientists have not found patterns in their formation.

Decline: Shortages (03:20)

The Sea of Galilee is Israel's only fresh water lake, supplying the country. When populations boomed in the 1950s, 96% of its flow was diverted, depriving Jordanian and Palestinian communities of vital resources.

Decline: Mineral Extraction (02:32)

Israel and Jordon mine the Dead Sea for potash, turning its southern part into evaporation ponds; the area is otherwise resource poor. Satellite images reveal the body's shrinkage into two basins; the industry pumps water from the northern part, causing further reduction.

Health Benefits Geological History (04:23)

Tourism generates $5 billion annually for Israel. At Ein Bokek Spa Resort, visitors bathe in salty waters lauded for healing effects. The Dead Sea formed when tectonic plates broke apart, filling with glacial melt and evaporating. Research reveals mineral contents up to 80% higher than oceans.

Waning Vitality (02:50)

Sinkholes destroy acres of fruit groves and declining seas impact tourism; area damages equal $30 million. The Dead Sea is an archaeological hot spot and once offered trade routes; its northern basin economy now suffers.

Demand and Adaptation (02:00)

The booming population of Syrian war refugee populations strains Amman resources; the government limits running water availability. Women conserve by learning plumbing skills. Islam prohibits private non-family male interactions, creating repair delays and waste.

Technological Solutions (03:22)

Water is key to Palestinian and Israeli conflicts and cooperation. The Red Sea Dead Sea Conveyance Project aspires to relieve tensions by creating additional drinking supplies. Israel employs desalinization plants off the Mediterranean, progressing designs into efficiency and affordability.

Geological Challenges (05:03)

Arava Valley is earthquake prone; Shmuel Marco explains evidence confirming many major events. Brine will be pumped into the Dead Sea from an aquifer placed close to fresh water supplies. Israeli farmers and scientists worry about pipeline integrity during natural disasters.

Mitigating Ecological Damages (05:40)

The Red Sea's Gulf of Aqaba hosts a biodiverse coral reef, uniquely unbleached; scientists believe the species migrated from warmer waters. The Jordan desalinization plant will be built near high concentrations of larvae. Scientists recommend pumping below the photic layer to spare marine life.

Project Viability (05:46)

The Sea of Galilee flow to the Dead Sea cannot be restored; it has receded over 11 feet since 2013. Some scientists suggest studying damage processes, others engineer rescue. Authorities focus on water supply and control.

Credits: Saving the Dead Sea (00:54)

Credits: Saving the Dead Sea

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Saving the Dead Sea

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As the Dead Sea shrinks, engineers prepare a daring solution: connect it with the Red Sea by way of a massive desalination plant. If it works, it could stabilize the lake and ease regional tensions, but will it put the environment at risk?

Length: 53 minutes

Item#: FMK188618

Copyright date: ©2019

Closed Captioned

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