Monday, January 05, 2009

The Ezekiel Project - Update

Ezek Top

A few days ago I was having a look at water issues in the Middle East at my post Running On Hungry. A discussion of the book When the Rivers Run Dry came up and there was a mention of the Dead Sea shrinking. That reminded me of a post I did in 2004 called The Ezekiel Project which dealt with proposed efforts to rejuvenate the Dead Sea. I think it is time to revisit that issue.

Before we do that however I think it would be good to go to the home page of The Ezekiel Project and have a look at their panoramic photo of the Dead Sea (the above photo is an excerpt), it is breathtaking.

OK. What is this all about other than refilling the Dead Sea? It is about Dead Sea Power.
The Dead Sea Power Project (DSPP) is a tunnel and hydropower project that can produce 1500 to 2500 megawatts of clean and renewable electric energy. The value of such electric energy will be maximized by power generation during peak demand times. Planned operation of the project can fill the Dead Sea to the desired level within seven years of operation; after that, the continued operation of the hydropower plant will be enabled by the development of additional desalination capacity to supply the water needs of the region.

Over a period of seven years of planned operation, the DSPP will restore the Dead Sea to the desired level, and thereby reverse the erosion and subsistence that is presently destroying the area. In addition, the placement of a deep layer of Med Sea water on top of the Dead Sea will stop the overturn of water in the Dead Sea that brings noxious gases to the surface.

The planned annual supply of Med Sea water through the DSPP will be five billion cubic meters, which, after desalination (using distillation to remove ninety percent as potable water) can provide five hundred cubic meters per person per annum for eight million people. Maximum capacity of the project is for twelve billion cubic meters annual flow, which would provide enough water for twenty million people if suitable desalination capacity should be developed. Desalination plants can be placed on the Jordanian and Israeli sides of the Dead Sea and can be powered by electricity from (i) DSPP, (ii) gas fired co-generation units and (iii) wind turbines on top of the mountains in Jordan. Such sources of electricity can also be used to pump seawater into reservoirs on top of the mountains, which in turn can be utilized, on demand, for desalination and electric power generation as needed.
That should be enough water to supply all of Israel and a lot of Jordan. Or some other mix for the two. Note that with a large drop available and a good supply of wind the problems of intermittent wind can be solved for this locality.

So what will the project cost?
The Dead Sea Power Project (DSPP, proposes a $3.5 billion hydroelectric project to transport water from the Med Sea to the Dead Sea via a ten meter diameter tunnel by gravity flow, pictured in Ezekiel's vision by the one in one thousand factor for the depth of the river flow going down from Jerusalem into the Dead Sea.
Ezek 47:3-5-- When the man went out toward the east with a line in his hand, he measured a thousand cubits, and he led me through the water, water reaching the ankles. Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the knees. Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the loins. Again he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not ford, for the water had risen, enough water to swim in, a river that could not be forded.
And what is the current status of the project?
Presently I am exploring the requirements for license of this project as an Independent Power Producer project with the government of Israel. Anyone interested in helping with this process should contact me.

Randolph Gonce

Randolph gives more complete details at the Ezekiel Project site linked above including a proposed route. If it could be done it would be quite beneficial to the region and would be one of the engineering wonders of the world. And at $3.5 billion the project costs seem rather modest given the projected outcome of replenishing the Dead Sea, generating electricity, and providing desalinated water. Not to mention realizing a Biblical vision, which though having no monetary value does have an aesthetic value for quite a few people.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

No comments: