Abstract

The level of the Dead Sea (the lowest surface on Earth) is currently declining at a rate of 0.8 m/yr, and has dropped about 20 m since the beginning of the twentieth century; it reached −410 m in 1997. We address the question of whether the level of the Dead Sea will continue to decline. A numerical model, developed in this study to determine the water balance, accounts for the increase in salinity and the concomitant decrease in the rate of evaporation that accompanies reduction in the activity of the water. Simulations based on ranges of water withdrawal scenarios suggest that the Dead Sea will not “die”; rather, a new equilibrium is likely to be reached in about 400 yr after a water-level decrease of 100 to 150 m.

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