Three Infrastructural National Projects
Abstract:Three infrastructural national projects are discussed1. Stabilization of the Dead Sea level by the Red-Dead canal-results of the recent feasibility study managed by the World Bank.The three major goals for the project defined in this study were: 1. to save the Dead Sea by conveying up to 1,200 MCM/y of reject; 2. to desalinate up to 850 MCM/y mainly for Jordan; 3. to be a symbol of peace between the three participants, Jordan, Israel and the PA. Six major reports were published covering the techno-economic, environmental, limnology of the Dead Sea, the oceanography of the northern Gulf of Aqaba/Elat, the chemical industries and the various alternatives (www.worldbank.org/rds).2. Artificial islands offshore Israel-results of the feasibility study published in 2000.The fast growing population along the coast of Israel has motivated feasibility studies of offshore solutions for required future infrastructures. This study was carried out by professional Dutch/Israeli teams during the late 1990's to investigate the environmental, technological, economic and legal feasibility of constructing artificial islands off the coast of Israel (PDF of the Executive Summary is available on request). A major conclusion from the study and from the recent activity offshore Israel such as the major gas discoveries is that there is a need to establish an highly professional offshore marine planning authority for the 25,000 sq km of the Israeli territorial and economic waters.3. The potential for pump-storage along the Dead Sea Rift.Pump-storage which is a well known technology, increases the feasibility and reliability of the electrical grid and the use of renewable energy. The topography of the elevated rift margins (Elat mountains ~800 above sea level (asl) and Edom mountains ~ 1200 asl) enable the use of this type of energy storage. It is in use on a smaller scale in the upper Jordan River and the Central Water Carrier and it was integrated in the Med-Dead and Red-Dead project planning.The first two are mega-projects which are controversial. Highly professional techno-economic feasibility studies including on the environmental aspects are needed to evaluate such mega-projects. Therefore the time between the idea and the actual feasibility studies, the planning and the construction is very long, even years, during which major goals, applications and scales might be changed.The earth sciences play a significant role in those studies and ideas.