Growth is good, but not good enough
The World Bank's plan for an underground pipeline would destroy the Dead Sea, the Environmental Protection Ministry says.
Israel's Ministry of Environmental Protection strenuously opposes the plan to build a pipeline between the Red Sea and Dead Sea which the World Bank is promoting. The ministry today presented its position on the project ahead of next week's hearing. The ministry warns that the flow of water from the Red Sea to Dead Sea is liable to cause algae and bacterial blooms, which will color the Dead Sea red, fill it with calcium sulfate, causing a stench from sulfur hydroxide emissions. The leaks from the pipeline are also liable to contaminate ground water in the Jordanian part of the Arava.
"These changes will wreak havoc on the Dead Sea and the region's tourism, which is why a pilot project should be conducted on a scale that will not jeopardize the Dead Sea and can be used to assess the ecological repercussions of the idea," says the Ministry of Environmental Protection. Outgoing minister Gilad Erdan added, "A hasty decision without data and real tests is liable to utterly destroy the Dead Sea."
The plan promoted by the World Bank calls for a protected underground pipeline comprising several internal pipelines laid in Jordanian territory from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea. The plan also calls for the construction of a hydroelectric plant and seawater desalination facilities. The latest report by World Bank experts says that the $10 billion project is financially worthwhile. The World Bank believes that the project will solve Jordan's drinking water shortage, and the problem of the falling water level in the Dead Sea's northern basin by creating a permanent flow of water into it. The Dead Sea's water level is falling because of overuse of the Jordan River's water and the evaporation pools in the southern basin for the production of potash and other minerals by Israel Chemicals Ltd. (TASE: ICL) and Jordan's Arab Potash Company Ltd.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection said today that a study by the Geological Survey of Israel found that if the flow of seawater into the Dead Sea exceeds 350 million cubic meters a year, it is liable to destroy the Dead Sea and its tourism industry. "Reports of the World Bank itself describe the great uncertainty about the repercussions of the full-scale project, on the principle of preventative caution. The ministry supports conducting a limited pilot, which will permit the flow of substantial seawater into the Dead Sea to ease the fall in the water level while enabling the examination of changes and effects of the water flow on the entire ecological system," says the ministry.
Ministry of Environmental Protection experts believe that the salinization should be tested by means of a limited pipeline to a controlled site, south of the Dead Sea's northern basin, in order to accurately test the environmental effects of the measure. "This test will provide greater certainty about the processes predicted in the models. A pilot will allow larger water flows in the future for a responsible saving of the Dead Sea. It is unacceptable that the destruction of the Dead Sea and its ecology as we know it should be based solely on economic calculations," concludes the ministry.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 12, 2013
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013
You comment was recieved and soon will be published.
Thank you for posting your comment, which will be reviewed for publication.
Load more comments
BlackRock Managing Director Stephen Cohen spoke at the "Globes"-BDO Ziv Haft Capital Market Conference.
Israel 11th in Bloomberg Gas Price Ranking
Israel is just below Finland in the ranking, and above Hong Kong and Britain.
Andorn: No tax hike to increase defense budget
The Finance Ministry director said more money should go to civilian services.
Tax Authority targets big spenders
Under suspicion are those who make frequent overseas trips, and unusually large capital market transactions.
Patrick Drahi ousts Eyal Ofer as richest Israeli
"Forbes Israel": Israel's 100 richest people's wealth equals 850,000 ordinary Israelis.
Police: Indict Olmert, Tel-Zur for obstructing justice
The police say Ehud Olmert and lawyer Navot Tel-Zur attempted to dissuade Shula Zaken from testifying.
Treasury forecasts just 3.1% growth in 2015
The IMF and OECD see 3.4% and 3.5% growth respectively in 2015.
TA Art Museum, Russia's Hermitage to collaborate
The announcement reflects the Tel Aviv Museum of Art's standing in the art world.
Lapid: I've learned economics at the people's expense
"A finance minister does not have to be an economist, but must know priorities."
Unemployment still falling
Israel's 5.6% unemployment rate in April is one of the lowest in the OECD.
C'tee calls for limiting cash deals to NIS 7,500
The Locker committee recommends a series of restrictions on the use of cash and checks.
Shekel strengthens as rate decision awaited
Analysts are split over whether the Bank of Israel will announce a rate cut today.
Analysts split on June interest rate decision
Even analysts who see the rate unchanged believe that it will be cut in a few months.
High Court bans yeshiva student stipends
The High Court of Justice: Yeshiva stipends discriminate against university students.
Teddy Sagi in talks to buy English football club - report
"The Reading Post": Teddy Sagi is in talks to acquire Championship side Reading.
Fitch affirms Israel's rating
The outlook for the 'A' long-term foreign currency rating is positive.
Change Israeli education from the ground up
Governments cannot reform our education system without a change in perceptions.
"You can't teach entrepreneurship"
Angel investor Zohar Gilon relies on his own judgement rather than due diligence when selecting investments.
If Rose Fostanes played basketball
Reforms in regulations for foreign caregivers are welcome, but don't go far enough.
Antitrust Authority disappoints on gas competition
The only new company that will compete against Tamar and Leviathan will own less than 8% of Israel's proven gas reserves.
When innovation means a refrigerator
Jamshyd Godrej believes economic development in India must go hand in hand with environmental and social awareness.
Prof. Zvi Eckstein supports NIS 3.30-3.40/$ floor rate
The former deputy Bank of Israel Governor is the first senior figure from the financial system to advocate a floor rate.
2013 boom year for Israeli high-tech
In the first half of the year, there was a 52% rise in demand for mobile and web developers, and salaries are up as well.
Strong shekel forces Israeli manufacturers abroad
Israeli manufacturers tell "Globes" they are losing money due to the current strength of the shekel.
"Ending QE3 will harm the economy"
Prof. Richard Clarida will tell "Globes" Israel Business Conference that the main risk to the US economy is its political system.
Israel offers favorable tax regime for companies
"Globes" and Baker Tilly Israel accountants found Israel's tax benefits are among the most attractive in the West.
Slowdown will worsen
The vested interests that continue to claim that the economy is improving are deceiving the public, says Eyal Horowitz.
Can the US maintain growth after QE3?
Leading economists will discuss "The US: catch 22 the zero interest rate" at the "Globes" 2013 Israel Business Conference.
"The worst could still be ahead in Europe"
Prof. Charles Wyplosz will discuss Eurozone recovery at the Globes Israel Business Conference on December 8-9.
"Let capital pipelines function to full potential"
Amir Bramly argues that limited investment supply is stifling small and medium Israeli companies.