Jordan, 'Bethany Beyond the Jordan' (Baptism site), Al-Maghtas, 4 July 2017
Once one of the great waterways of the ancient world, the Jordan River has been drained due to overuse, drought and pollution causing further depletion of its flow into the Dead Sea. For decades, water has been a source of conflict in Holy Land. Today, despite its natural and cultural importance, the ancient biblical waterway has been reduced to a murky body of water in danger of disappearing.
Jordan is one of the most water-stressed countries in the world. Demand for water greatly outstrips available water sources, and the margin is worsening. The Lower Jordan River Valley is a unique ecosystem stretching along both banks of the world’s lowest river, one of the oldest routes of human migration, with natural and cultural sites valued all over the world. Over the years, this unique river valley is threatened by excessive water diversion, pollution and inappropriate development causing the Jordan River to lose more than 90 percent of its normal flow. Upstream, at the Sea of Galilea, the water is diverted via Israel’s National Water Carrier, while dams built by Jordan and Syria claim a share of the river mostly for agriculture and domestic consumption. The fight over the Jordan is just another example for potential conflict over water that exists throughout our world. Rivalry in India and Pakistan over the Indus; Ethiopia and Egypt over the Nile; Turkey and Syria over the Euphrates are just a few similar cases of a long list. Today Jordan faces a deepening water crisis, worsened by climate change, regional conflict and immigration. It has one of the lowest levels of water availability per capita in the world. A situation now made more acute by the influx of hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing from their country’s long and ongoing civil war. Jordan is consuming more water than is available from renewable sources, making potable water a priority. If current trends remain the same, Jordan will be in absolute water shortage by the early 2020s. In need for access to new bulk water. The country lacks to develop these on its own. This ongoing long-term project aims to highlight the importance of cross boundary efforts to protect water resources shared by different countries, often the sole lifeline for millions of people. All equally depending on it, all bound to consider each other need's.