The social-economic cabinet, chaired by Minister of Finance Ronnie Bar-On, last week approved the establishment of a new government company to plan and implement the preservation of the Dead Sea. The company's first tasks will be to prevent a further drop in the water level of the Dead Sea, and preserve and restore the shoreline, especially in the area of the hotels along the southern basin.
Until now, the Ministry of Tourism was responsible for the Dead Sea. 12 hotels exist along its shore, as well as tourism related businesses. The new government company will be an administrative body that will coordinate essential preservation action plans, and will also examine solutions for the problem of sinkholes in the area.
The level of the Dead Sea fell by 1.5 meters in 2007, and has fallen by an average of one meter per year over the past decade, faster than the loss during the 1970s and 1980s.
The condition of the Dead Sea is especially complex and alarming because it is suffering from two severe simultaneous problems: the water level in the northern basin is falling, while the water level in the southern basin is rising, threatening the hotels on its shore.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 24, 2008
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