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Preserving the Dead Sea, a Jewel for Future Generations

Preserving the Dead Sea, a Jewel for Future Generations Read Transcript


CHRIS MITCHELL: Sunrise over the Dead Sea,

a soothing atmosphere, biblical landmark and mineral treasure.

It sits on the Great Rift Valley,

between Israel and Jordan.

Fed by fresh water from the Jordan River and mineral

springs, it's one of the saltiest lakes in the world.

So salty, no fish can survive in it.

Nominated as one of the seven wonders

of the world, the water, mud, and atmosphere

have healing properties.

But all this could disappear.

The Dead Sea behind me is dropping

five to eight feet a year.

That means the lowest place on earth is getting even lower.

The reason is very, very simple.

On one hand, there is, all the time,

evaporation of water from the surface.

It's very large.

On the other hand, good water from the upper Jordan

were taken for irrigation to develop agriculture,

to develop food for the people, and stopped reaching the sea.

So the balance has changed.

CHRIS MITCHELL: Hebrew University professor,

Avner Adin says there's only one way to restore the sea.

What could save the Dead Sea is actually pouring water

into the Dead Sea.

CHRIS MITCHELL: Adin told CBN News a combination of solutions

is the only way to help.

One way, which is the natural one,

meaning let the rivers flow into it.

Don't take the water from the Jordan, from the other rivers.

Let it come back to its natural way.

The other way is artificial, meaning making the Red

to Dead Sea project come true.

CHRIS MITCHELL: Israel and Jordan

signed the Red Dead agreement to make a 140 mile

canal from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea.

The billion dollar project begins with a desalination

plant to provide much needed water and power to Jordan.

Then would drop the remainder of the water into the Dead Sea.

Another way that in part it could be done

would be to take water from the Mediterranean

and desalinate this water and give this water for drinking

and for agriculture instead of taking

the water from the Lake of Galilee and from the streams.

CHRIS MITCHELL: But Adin said, it's

not easy to get governments invested in saving it.

That's why activist Jacob Ben Zaken and Noam

Bedein are sounding the alarm.

I want to see the Dead Sea restored.

CHRIS MITCHELL: Ben Zaken from a nearby kibbutz,

gives the only boat ride available on the Dead Sea.

The purpose is to bring awareness to the Dead Sea.

To the beauty, to everything that's

going on, including the disappearing of the Dead Sea

and the way to save it.

CHRIS MITCHELL: And it's working.

Over a year ago, photojournalist Bedein took the boat tour.

And that touched me, as an Israeli,

to speak up for this enchanted, prehistorical, biblical place.

To stand up for it.

CHRIS MITCHELL: These salty pillars, or chimneys,

may be stunning, but their appear spirits signals trouble.

Bedein's photos show the drop in the water level in just one

year.

I've been documenting this one-of-a-kind place like never

before.

Going on this boat ride over a period of time and documenting

the beauty, the magic of this place,

with a purpose to educate the next generation of this

one-of-a-kind place, but also showing the dramatic changes

that this place has been taking.

CHRIS MITCHELL: The drop has also caused huge sinkholes

to open up along the shore, forcing beaches to close

and a nearby road to collapse.

The Dead Sea is a favorite tourist destination.

It's so salty, you can't sink, only float.

But there's much more.

In the Bible, a young David hid in the nearby caves of En Gedi.

Dead Sea Scrolls were found in the Qumran Caves,

giving us the oldest manuscripts of the Bible.

And the Dead Sea is actually giving life.

The waters and air at the Dead Sea

have special healing properties for skin and other ailments.

And mineral mining yields potash, a key element

for fertilizer used in agriculture to feed the world.

AVNER ADIN: So it's a very special diamond,

that we should keep it.

CHRIS MITCHELL: Biblical prophets also

said that the Dead Sea would go through a change

when the Messiah returns.

Ezekiel prophesied that one day the waters of the Great Salt

Sea would be healed and teeming with fish.

Chris Mitchell, CBN News, the Dead Sea.

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