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Dead Sea

Photographer: Abir Sultan

 

Originally one of the world's first health resorts, the Dead Sea 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 more than 40 meters. 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 429 meters below the level making it earth's lowest elevation on land. The problem of the annual declining rate of 1.5 meters per year 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. A good example of its salinity levels is that it is 9.6 times as salty as the ocean. The visible evidence in the following package of images exposes the sinkholes, mud flats, damages to infra-structures as well as the effects on flora and fauna of nature reserves and increased exposure of beach areas.