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Technical Solutions to Avoid Water Conflicts: The Red Sea-Dead Sea Canal Project

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On 9 December 2013, Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington. This deal aims to develop a desalination plant in Aqaba, Jordan's port on the Red Sea in order to produce water which will be shared between Israel and Jordan. The project can be considered as a 'pilot scheme', or even as the first stage, of a potential Red-Dead project to test the environmental impact of adding a mix of the Red Sea water and desalination byproduct to the Dead Sea. This article aims to describe the Red Sea-Dead Sea Conveyance Project (RSDSCP), considering the ongoing debate about its possible environmental impacts and trying to identify the real goals that are driving interested parties to undertake so costly and risky a mega-project. To do so, it is necessary to consider the hydrological characteristics of the region and, above all, to take a step back in history to reconstruct the hydropolitical processes that have taken place since the defeat of the Ottoman Empire during the World War I. Possible alternatives to the project that could be more efficient from a socio-economic and environmental point of view will also be outlined.
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Keywords: Jordan River Basin; Red Sea-Dead Sea Canal; Water resources; water conflicts

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2014-10-01

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  • The half-yearly journal Global Environment: A Journal of History and Natural and Social Sciences acts as a forum and echo chamber for ongoing studies on the environment and world history, with special focus on modern and contemporary topics. Our intent is to gather and stimulate scholarship that, despite a diversity of approaches and themes, shares an environmental perspective on world history in its various facets, including economic development, social relations, production government, and international relations.
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