AMMAN, Jordan, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- A $4.4 billion canal that would stretch from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea would provide an abundance of power and fresh water, Jordanian officials say.
The proposed canal also would keep the Dead Sea from drying up and disappearing within 50 years, said Adnan Zoubi, a spokesman for the Jordanian water ministry.
The plan calls for a 110-mile long canal to channel several million tons of seawater into the Dead Sea each day, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.
The Dead Sea sits about 1,300 feet below the Red Sea, meaning hydro turbines could produce ample energy while desalination units provide badly needed fresh water to the region, Zoubi said.
Currently, the Dead Sea's water level drops by several feet a year because agriculture uses so much water from the Jordan River, the only major influx into the Dead Sea, which has shrunk by a third in the past 40 years.
Environmental Resources Management, a British firm, has won the contract for a major part of the canal's feasibility study, the Telegraph reported.