For centuries, the Dead Sea water inflow was provided by the Jordan River and smaller streams flowing during spring from the east and west side. The waters of the Jordan River, and periodically flowing streams were rich in minerals, because water flowing into the Dead Sea, on the way eluted different components of rocks and ore minerals.
In 1964 Jordan River has been directed to the Sea of Galilee, to ensure water for Israel population. Since then, the flow of water into the Dead Sea has decreased by 700 million cubic meters per year and the Dead Sea is drying. It is a cause for concern and poses a threat to the entire ecosystem. The future of cosmetic industry is in question, because it is based on minerals extracted from the Dead Sea.
Currently, the governments of Israel and Jordan with international help are working on the project “Two Seas Canal”, which would allow the inflow of water from the Red Sea into the Dead Sea through a special canal. This is one of the concepts of saving the Dead Sea from complete annihilation.
Is it possible that soon, we will not be able to use the unique properties of salt and mud from the Dead Sea?
Unfortunately, this scenario seems to be a foregone conclusion. One must consider two scenarios for further development of the situation, and none of them is beneficial for those who are now using the unique healing properties of salt from the Dead Sea.
The first option involves no human intervention in this situation, which will soon lead to almost complete disappearance of the Dead Sea. Dead Sea water will simply evaporate. And if so, it will end the process of extracting salt from its water (salt is obtained by evaporation of sea water of the Dead Sea). Of course, the salt will not evaporate into the air along with water, but if it settles on a muddy bottom, extracting it in the form in which we use it today (snow-white crystals) will be practically impossible…
The second option involves saving the Dead Sea by inflow of water from the Red Sea (the above-mentioned project of Israel and Jordan governments). In this case the area as such will be saved, but as the researchers say – because of waters of both seas being mixed – the healing properties of the Dead Sea will be irretrievably lost. This will happen because the Red Sea waters contain completely different salt than the water of Dead Sea. Salt in the Red Sea water is simply common salt (sodium chloride NaCl), and the Dead Sea salt with therapeutic properties is so called highly mineralized magnesium and potassium salt. Well… there is nothing left but to enjoy the benefits of Dead Sea salt while we still have it…