AMMAN, Jordan, May 7 (UPI) -- Without fresh water flowing into the River Jordan soon, the river could run dry as early as next year, Jordanian environmental activists warn.
The Project of Friends of the Earth Middle East said in a report that Israel is diverting millions of gallons of saline water into the River Jordan every year. Meanwhile, more than 100 million cubic feet of raw sewage pours into the river every year from Israeli municipalities.
Baha Afaneh, the Jordanian coordinator for FOEME, said that the River Jordan could run dry unless 1.4 billion cubic feet of fresh water is allowed into the river.
"If immediate action is not taken the River Jordan will run dry by 2011," he said.
The report said Israel diverts more than 46 percent of the water from the river. Syria draws around 25 percent, Jordan 23 percent and 5 percent is drawn by the Palestinians.
The flow of the River Jordan dropped from an annual rate of nearly 46 billion cubic feet to less than 3.5 billion feet per year during the last 50 years. The report from FOEME added that sewage is the only thing keeping the river flowing.