The dying Dead Sea: Why it's drying up at an alarming rate
Sunday, November 27, 2016, 8:00 - The Dead Sea has already lost more than one third of its surface area over the years. The water level is currently dropping by over 3 feet every year and its shoreline is expected to drop from 1348 feet to 1411 feet below sea level by 2020, according to the environmentalist group EcoPeace Middle East.
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Traditionally, the Jordan River is the Dead Sea’s inflow source. However, 50 years ago it was diverted to supply cities, reducing the water inflow level to the Dead Sea to just 5% of its original volume.
The hot and dry climate of the region makes it difficult for the Dead Sea to restore itself. That added to the rapid loss of water has resulted in the increased salinity of the lake.
The group also points out that the Dead Sea is threatened by cosmetic companies that extract mineral water from the region to make beauty products.
Hotels and attractions built along the shoreline also release untreated sewage into the Dead Sea.
Even though the Dead Sea does not have any wildlife in itself, the region around it is known for supporting several endangered species such as ibexes, leopards and the indigenous Dead Sea sparrow.
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