Can Desalination Help Save a Holy River?

Roman bridge over the Jordan River, which forms the boundary between Israel and Jordan
Roman bridge over the Jordan River, which forms the boundary between Israel and Jordan

The Jordan River of the Middle East has supported a long succession of empires and other human settlements for more than 8,000 years, but it took less than one generation of modern civilization to reduce the river to a trickle of sewage.

Now, the ultra-modern technology of “desalination” — turning ocean water into fresh water – may provide the best hope for bringing the river back to life.

At least that appeared to be the implicit consensus I heard last week from the more than 400 Israeli and Jordanian water experts and interested stakeholders gathered in a kibbutz just downstream of the Sea of Galilee, in the Jordan River’s watershed. While the river forms an international boundary that divides their countries, the river’s advocates have come to realize that only by working together can they hope to bring the river back to some semblance of the sacred blue ribbon in the desert that once sustained Egyptian, Hittite, Assyrian, Israelite, Babylonian, Persian, Greek, Roman, Arab and Ottoman empires.

A River Betrayed

The once-mighty yet still-holy Jordan River has lost more than 90% of its natural water flow to thirsty —> Read More Here

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