EIN BOKEK, Israel (Reuters) – The Dead Sea is shrinking at the rate of about a meter a year, leaving behind deserted beaches and sinkholes in a slow-motion environmental disaster.
A general view shows Dead Sea Works factory at the Dead Sea, Israel July 17, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
The main culprit is the drying up of the Jordan river, its main tributary, as communities upstream draw on it for farming and drinking. But mineral extraction makes the crisis worse – of the 700-800 million cubic meters of water lost each year, 250-350 million cubic meters is due to mining, Israel estimates.