Kreiger, Barbara. The Dead Sea and the Jordan River. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2016.
For centuries travelers have been drawn to the stunning and mysterious Dead Sea and Jordan River, a region which is unlike any other on earth in its religious and historical significance. In this exceptionally engaging and readable book, Barbara Kreiger chronicles the natural and human history of these storied bodies of water, drawing on accounts by travelers, pilgrims, and explorers from ancient times to the present. She conveys the blend of spiritual, touristic, and scientific motivations that have driven exploration and describes the modern exploitation of the lake and the surrounding area through mineral extraction and agriculture. Today, both lake and river are in crisis, and stewardship of these water resources is bound up with political conflicts in the region. The Dead Sea and the Jordan River combines history, literature, travelogue, and natural history in a way that makes it hard to put down.
Table of Contents
Part I. This Strange Water
1. Some Early History, Travellers, Myths
Part II. Nineteenth-Century Exploration
2. Three Sailors, and a River
3. Along the Briny Strand
Part III. Origins and Evolution
4. The Life of a Lake
Part IV. Further Exploration
5. Gentleman from Siberia
6. A Lake Divided
Part V. The Twenty-First Century
7. The River and Lake in Distress
8. Reclamation, and a Vision of the Future
BARBARA KREIGER is Creative Writing Concentration Chair and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program at Dartmouth College. Her other publications include Divine Expectations: An American Woman in Nineteenth-Century Palestine. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Smithsonian Magazine, and other publications.
Broad utilization of drip irrigation technologies in Israel has contributed to the 1600 percent increase in the value of produce grown by local farmers over the past sixty-five years. The recycling of 86% of Israeli sewage now provides 50% of the country’s irrigation water and is the second, idiosyncratic component in Israel’s strategy to overcome water scarcity and maintain agriculture in a dryland region. The sustainability of these two practices is evaluated in light of decades of experience and ongoing research by the local scientific community. The review confirms the dramatic advantages of drip irrigation over time, relative to flood, furrow and sprinkler irrigation and its significance as a central component in agricultural production, especially under arid conditions. In contrast, empirical findings increasingly report damage to soil and to crops from salinization caused by irrigation with effluents. To be environmentally and agriculturally sustainable over time, wastewater reuse programs must ensure extremely high quality treated effluents and ultimately seek the desalinization of recycled sewage.
A preliminary work aimed at allocating suitable new sites for possible NPPs in Israel is presented. The work is based on Israel’s present NPP siting criteria, supported by selected procedure performed by various countries that conducted similar process. The site selection process was conducted in two stages: first, a selection procedure using demographic analysis was conducted; second, a seismological and geological analysis process was performed in the remaining area. From the combined two screening processes results, an overall new area of 569 km2 was located as a possible area for future construction of NPPs in Israel. Further and more comprehensive work, based on the IAEAs site selection guidelines, has to be performed in the future, in order to verify the preliminary findings presented in this work.
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