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Study Program Process

“The Study Program consists of a full technical, economic, environmental and social evaluation of the proposed Red Sea–Dead Sea Water Conveyance Project through preparation by independent Consultants of a Feasibility Study and an Environmental and Social Assessment.”

- TOR, as signed by the beneficiary parties

Objectives of the Feasibility Study and the Environmental and Social Assessment

  • Investigate the feasibility of reversing the environmental degradation of the Dead Sea Region by transferring water from the Red Sea.
  • Investigate the technical, economic, financial, environmental, social and institutional issues.
  • Examine the alternatives to the proposed action, including taking no action.
  • Evaluate whether the overall benefits exceed the costs to determine the feasibility of the concept.
  • If feasible, what are the technical, economic, environmental and social costs?
  • Undertake the study in a way that reflects and respects the unique context of the region.

The outcome of the Feasibility Study and the Environmental and Social Assessment will serve as a tool for governments and stakeholders to determine whether the construction of a Red Sea ‑ Dead Sea Water Conveyance is feasible, taking into account all relevant aspects including the technical, economic, financial, environmental, and social factors. This process will also provide opportunity for dialogue between regional stakeholders including governmental and non-governmental organizations, and the Beneficiary Parties on the findings of the Study Program findings and to exchange inputs, views and suggestions.

Terms of Reference 

The terms of reference for the studies were:

  • Prepared through a cooperative process by the three governments.
  • Sufficiently detailed to serve as tender document.

As such the TORs:

  • Addresses technical issues and identifies tasks.
  • Describes oversight, management, and a decision process for possible follow up action.
  • Provides for public consultation and disclosure processes.

Principal Issues and Challenges to be Addressed in the Study Program 

The following aspects are addressed in the studies:

  • Environmental
  • Technical
  • Economic 
  • Institutional
  • Social
  • Study of Alternatives

The Sub-Studies 

The Feasibility Study and the Environmental and Social Assessment will draw upon four Sub-Studies, as specified below. The Sub-Studies will serve as the building blocks of and feed data and information to the Feasibility Study and the Environmental and Social Assessment.  The Sub-Studies are:

  • Red Sea Study - Oceanographic processes and environmental impacts in the Gulf of Aqaba/Eilat due to extraction of different amounts of sea water (in this website -- the Red Sea Modeling Study)
  • Water Conveyance System Study - Red Sea to the Dead Sea  (part of the Feasibility Study)
  • Dead Sea  Region Study - Physical, chemical and biological properties of the Dead Sea and impact of mixing Red Sea and Dead Sea waters in the Dead Sea (in this website the Dead Sea Region Modeling Study)
  • Hydropower and Desalination Facilities (part of the Feasibility Study)

Study of Alternatives

The Study of Alternatives is an element of the Environmental and Social Assessment and will provide an analysis of the alternatives at the regional level to the proposed Red Sea - Dead Sea Water Conveyance project. It will examine the "no action" or "without project alternative",the proposed project, and other regional development alternatives. This study is being undertaken by a specialized study team working under a contract with the World Bank.

Key Environmental and Social Issues to be Studied

The following issues will be addressed in the Environmental and Social Assessment:

  • Upper Gulf of Aqaba/Eilat and Dead Sea marine environment including coral reefs.
  • Impacts on the Aqaba and Eilat Region.
  • Ecological connectivity in Wadi Araba.
  • Impacts on the Dead Sea Region.
  • Mixing Red Sea and Dead Sea Waters.
  • Impacts on Groundwater.
  • Impacts to Archeological, Historical and Cultural Sites.
  • Impacts from Hydropower Facilities and Desalination Plants.
  • Induced Impacts HIV/AIDS Risks.
  • Potential Impacts from Special Risks.
  • Cumulative Impacts.

Panel of Experts

An interdisciplinary panel of internationally recognized experts provides advice during the Study Program. The Panel of Experts serves as an independent reviewer of the Feasibility Study, the Red Sea Modeling Study, the Dead Sea Modeling Study, Technical Studies, the Environmental and Social Assessment and the Study of Alternatives. The Panel of Experts was appointed in September 2009.

Expected Timeline and Reports

The full duration of the Study Program is anticipated to be 36 months. The major studies started in May 2008 and according to the revised schedule will be finalized in June 2011.  Major targets within this timeline include: inception reports, review of existing studies, identification of gaps in knowledge, preliminary draft reports, integration of sub-studies, and the final reports.

 




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