Sacred River Turned into a Toxic Creek

22.12.2011

Река Иордан: место крещения ХристаWho could ever imagine that the Jordan River, sacred for all the Christian humanity, would turn into a filthy dump in two thousand years after Jesus Christ was baptized in it? Nowadays, only the bravest ones dare to take baptism in Jordan waters.

Major problem of the Jordan River is tremendous shoaling. It happens because the river doesn’t take water from the Sea of Galilee, while Israel, Syria and Jordan pump out 98% of the river flow. If the current trend doesn’t change as soon as possible, the River of Jordan will shortly disappear for good. The situation has become even worse due to increased pollution concentration. Agricultural, fishing and household wastewaters are dumped into what has become of the Jordan River without undergoing treatment. All that resulted in transformation of a rapid and affluent river with chutes and waterfalls into a tiny and stinky creek with almost slack water.

Recently Israel authorities became concerned with the Jordan River problems. They initiated construction of a wastewater treatment plant, which would cost country’s budget over 400 million shekels (about USD 99 million). Local experts are sure that due to these measures water of the Jordan River would at least be suitable for irrigation.

Israel ecology minister, Gilad Erdan is full of optimistic expectations. He believes that the new wastewater treatment plant would save the Jordan River from shoaling, and filth would eventually be replaced with clean water. However, local ecologists are more pessimistic about the future of the Holy River. Due to their calculations, WWTP would treat only 10% of all the water needed to bring the Jordan River back to life.