May 25, 2010

Lower Jordan River could vanish by 2011

Two recent landmark studies by the environmental organization Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) have forecast that the lower segment of the Jordan River could collapse as early as next year due to global warming, extreme pollution and decades of human use that have resulted in up to 98% diversion of the river’s volume.

These FoEME studies are the first to show the shocking level of demise and the extent of rehabilitation needed to restore the river.

Stating that river flow since the 1930s has gone from 1.3 billion cubic meters per year to just 20 million annually today, FoEME researchers point out that the river south of the Sea of Galilee has been reduced to a contaminated trickle.

Chairman and Jordanian FoEME Director Munqeth Mehyar stated, “…We have lost at least 50% percent of biodiversity in and around the river due to the near total diversion of fresh water… Some 400 million cubic meters of water annually are urgently needed to be returned to the river to bring it back to life.”

Recently, the organization, which is also unique in bringing together Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian environmental advocates united in a common cause, proposed the first solution ever to save the river.

They have identified both the quantity of water needed annually as well as the ways that the recipient water countries of Syria, Israel, Jordan and Palestine could cooperate to restore its flow.

Director Mehyar and all scientists and advocates at Friends of the Earth Middle East, we applaud your collaborative actions to inform of the legendary Jordan River’s dire state for its ultimate restoration.

Through humanity’s wise and conscientious care, may this life-sustaining source flourish harmoniously once more. Supreme Master Ching Hai has often discussed ways to appreciate and preserve the precious resource of water, as in this October 2009 videoconference in Formosa (Taiwan).

Supreme Master Ching Hai: We tell people to do organic farming, how to conserve rainwater, ground water, and conserve land, planting trees to attract rain, etc.

In the Alwar district of Rajasthan, India, one Indian village was able to guide the water enough that it brought back to life five flowing rivers – five flowing rivers – that had been dead before, been dried up before due to withdrawing too much water.

We could learn from them as well. But even these water losses pale in comparison to the incredible amount of water that is wasted for animal production. It takes approximately 4,664 liters of water to produce just one serving of beef, but an entire vegan meal can be produced with only 371 liters of water.

The livestock sector is probably the world's biggest source of water pollution as well.

Water means everything to our existence. We must conserve the water; we must do everything we can. And the first step to begin is to be vegan.

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