Declining water levels in the Dead Sea

Originally one of the world’s first health resorts, the Dead Sea in Israel has a far from healthy future as its water levels continue to decline. In fact, it has been estimated that since the 1950s the water levels have dropped about 130 feet. The dangerously low level has been attributed to an imbalance between the amount of incoming and outgoing water. Known also as the Sea of Salt, separating Israel to the west and Jordan to the east, the lake’s surface and shores are 1407 feet below the level making it earth’s lowest elevation on land. The problem of the annual declining rate is due largely to the reduction of inflowing of water from the Jordan River. This has been attributed to the increased current consumption of water within the Jordan River water and irrigation drainage basin. Water resources in the region are scarce and affect Israel, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan that are located within and bordering the basin. The sea is called ‘dead’ because its high salinity prevents aquatic organisms such as fish and aquatic plants from living in it. [13 photos total]

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1
An abandoned tourist Boat shipwreck lying at the Dead Sea coastal resort near Ein Gedi, Israel. According to media reports, the Dead Sea water level is dropping with an average of 3 feet per year since the first water level measurements in 1927. (Abir Sultan/EPA) #
2
A researcher from the Israeli Geological Institute of Limnological Research measures the Dead Sea depth from a rope covered with salt while sailing on the research ship 'Taglit' (Discovery) during their monthly research of the Dead Sea water level near the Dead Sea coastal resort of Ein Gedi, Israel, on Oct. 20, 2014. (Abir Sultan/EPA) #
3
A view of a large sinkhole created by the decrease in water level at the Dead Sea coastal resort near Ein Gedi, Israel, on Oct. 14, 2014. (Abir Sultan/EPA) #
4
A small research buoy floating in the center of the Dead Sea is used to measure the depth by the Israeli Geological Institute of Limnological Research during their monthly research of the Dead Sea water level near the Dead Sea coastal resort of Ein Gedi, Israel. (Abir Sultan/EPA) #
5
An abandoned water park opposite to the shores of the Dead Sea at the Dead Sea coastal resort near Ein Gedi, Israel. (Abir Sultan/EPA) #
6
A researcher from the Israeli Geological Institute of Limnological Research sails on the research ship 'Taglit' (Discovery) during their monthly research of the Dead Sea water level near the Dead Sea coastal resort of Ein Gedi, Israel. (Abir Sultan/EPA) #
7
Dead palm trees stand in front of the Dead Sea coastal resort near Ein Gedi, Israel, on Dec. 2, 2014. (Abir Sultan/EPA) #
8
The research ship 'Taglit' (Discovery) of the Israeli Geological Institute of Limnological Research is prepared to sail during their monthly research of the Dead Sea water level near the Dead Sea coastal resort of Ein Gedi, Israel. (Abir Sultan/EPA) #
9
An old dock stands about 65 feet above the sea level mark where the water line was about 20 years ago at the Dead Sea coastal resort near Ein Gedi, Israel. (Abir Sultan/EPA) #
10
An old buoy used by the Israeli navy when they were stationed at the Dead Sea during the 1980s lies about 65 feet out of the water and marks were the water line was about 30 years ago at the Dead Sea coastal resort near Ein Gedi, Israel. (Abir Sultan/EPA) #
11
An abandoned old work camp on the southern side of the Dead Sea. (Abir Sultan/EPA) #
12
A drying pool of the Dead Sea salt processing factory on the southern side of the Dead Sea. (Abir Sultan/EPA) #
13
A chair covered with salt stuck out of the sand at the Dead Sea coastal resort near Ein Gedi, Israel. According to media reports the Dead Sea water level is dropping with an average of 3 feet per year since the first water level measurements in 1927. (Abir Sultan/EPA) #

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