Positive Environment News

Dead Sea-Red Sea Canal could Cause Quakes -Official

Date: 27-Jul-05
Country: EGYPT

"The two seas canal would lead to strong seismic activity in the region because of the rush of water," Ahmed Ali Fadel told a news conference at the canal headquarters.
The canal, designed to generate electricity for a desalination plant and to prevent the Dead Sea from drying up, would carry 850 million tonnes of water a year.

Jordan, Israel and the Palestinians signed an agreement in May for a study into the building of the canal.

Fadel said the earthquake danger would be especially serious because the earth's crust is thinner in the Gulf of Aqaba then anywhere else on earth. The water would come from the Gulf of Aqaba, which is part of the Red Sea, be pumped uphill and then run down into the Dead Sea, which lies below sea level.

The Egyptian official said the project would also provide Israel with water for cooling its nuclear reactor at Dimona.

"Adding a desalination plant means turning the Negev Desert area into an area of settlement after water and electricity are provided," he added.

The salt water pumped into the Dead Sea would increase the salinity of wells in neighbouring countries. The Dead Sea is already more saline than the Red Sea.

The Dead Sea-Red Sea canal would not pose a commercial challenge to the Suez Canal because it would not carry shipping.

© Thomson Reuters 2005 All rights reserved

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