Is the Dead Sea Dying?

Article and Picture Citation:

Weir, Bill. "Is the Dead Sea Dying?" CNN. Cable News Network, 26 Mar. 2015. Web. 29 Mar. 2015. <>.


This article is a news article written by Bill Weir, who explores the drastic changes in the Dead Sea since his first visit. The Dead Sea is a salt lake bordered by Jordan, Palestine, and Israel. It is the world's saltiest body of water, which allows visitors to float in the water (many will actually sit in chairs and float in the water).

However, recently, the Dead Sea has been disappearing at an alarming rate, with sink holes rapidly opening and an overall evaporation of the sea. The reason behind this evaporation of the world's saltiest body of water is that the River Jordan is almost completely dead.

The River Jordan is almost completely drained to a trickle and the willows surrounding the banks are endangered, along with little signs of wildlife.

What is the Ethical Issue?

The River Jordan, which leads into the Dead Sea, is believed by Christians to be the river in which John baptized Jesus, and by Muslims to be the river where the remains of Mohammad's friends are held. However, this River, which is sacred to millions of people across the globe, is almost completely drained of water.

The evaporation of the Dead Sea is an indication of the struggle for water that may potentially spur another World War. Currently, Jordan and Israel's peace treaty is supported by an agreement to share water. Therefore, if this agreement fails, the Middle East would be in a potential crisis.

The main ethical crisis, which we saw in the movie FLOW, is over water and how best can we as a world correctly allocate water sources.

My Position

Based on what I have learned in class this semester, I have realized that water is a fundamental right, but it is not often treated as one.

Therefore, as a society we must think about ways to reduce the amount of water that we use until it becomes too late. Moreover, we must find a way to properly allocate water to different regions so that every human has the ability to gain access to clean, drinking water. It is a very real possibility that wars may be fought over water and it is important for nation leaders to come together and decide on a plan. This is a problem that affects all of us, not just select members of the world.

What does the fact that the Dead Sea, one of the most respected bodies of water in the world, is evaporating suggest about individuals' consideration and respect for water and how can we change that?