Israel, Jordan, Palestinians mull to build Red-Dead Sea canal
Representatives of Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian National Authority and the World Bank met here Wednesday over a project to bring water from the Red Sea northward to refill the drying-up Dead Sea via a canal, Xinhua reported.
"This is a big idea to address a big problem, namely the dying of the Dead Sea," according to Alex McPhail, study manager for the World Bank.
"We are still in the middle of a comprehensive and integrated evaluation of the proposed Red Sea Dead Sea Water Conveyance project," McPhail said.
World Bank officials, who are hosting the talks, said in a statement that the feasibility study of what they termed an " ambitious and controversial concept" is still in its early stages, and stressed that no decisions have been taken.
Current project estimates say such a canal would be a net consumer of some 250 megawatts of energy, said the feasibility team engineer, David Meehan.
"The power demand for the proposed project will be updated as the work evolves," Meehan said.
"This is the third round of major public consultations which we are holding in Jordan, Israel and with the Palestinian (National) Authority," according to Stephen Lintner, senior technical advisor of the World Bank.
"A fourth (session) will be next year," Lintner said, adding that "this whole process is underpinned by constant consultations with interested parties. It would be inappropriate to do otherwise. "
The study set out in June 2008 to make a detailed environmental and social assessment of the science, engineering and economics that would underpin any such undertaking.
There are two specialized studies, one concerning the potential impacts on the Gulf of Aqaba, and one on the mixing of the Red Sea and Dead Sea waters.