The Dead Sea, located on the east of Israel with the border with Jordan running through it, is the lowest point on Earth. It’s high mineral content has brought visitors throughout the ages, to enjoy the medicinal and restorative powers of this natural spa.
Despite its great importance, the Dead Sea region is in a state of continuous ecological deterioration, manifested in the lowering of the sea level, changing of the landscape, and formation of sinkholes. This damages tourism, agricultural areas, infrastructure, and leads to the closing of bathing beaches and the lack of access to the public to several parts of the Dead Sea.
The Dead Sea is shrinking at an alarming rate; 1.2 meters (four feet) every year, and close to 25% of the shrinking of the Dead Sea (according to Adam Teva V’Din research) is from water taken and used for commercial use.
In 1961 the State issued the Franchise Law, granting The Dead Sea Works exclusive rights to extract and exploit the mineral resources of the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea factories draw about 450 million cubic meters per year from the northern basin to the evaporation pools, for the production of minerals, especially potash. After the pumping, approximately half of the total pumped water remaining for the evaporation operations. To reach and clean the minerals, millions of cubes of local groundwater is needed and used…for free.
The Franchise Law will end in 2030, upon which it will be reviewed and the next steps will be determined.