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People enjoy a spring water pool along the Dead Sea shore near the Israeli Kibbutz of Ein Gedi on Nov. 24, 2017.
Oded Balilty/AP
Environment

Drought in Israel Threatens Holy Land's Waters

A looming water crisis in one of the most contentious regions in the world offers a glimpse of what the rest of the world may face in the decades ahead. 

The Sea of Galilee, the Jordan River, and the Dead Sea are disappearing because of climate change, mismanagement, and pollution, threatening further instability within and in between already-tense countries, according to the Associated Press. 

Israel, Palestine, and Jordan all depend on these bodies of waters for drinking water and agriculture. 

Take Action: Urge Governments And Businesses To Invest In Clean Water And Toilets

The bodies of water are also religiously meaningful to people around the world who visit them as part of pilgrimages, AP reports. 

The flow of the Jordan River has shrunk by 60% in recent years, the Dead Sea has diminished by 60%, and the Sea of Galilee is suffering from drought. 

Elsewhere in the world, water crises are affecting billions of people. 

Lake Chad, for instance, has shrunk by 95% over the past several decades, putting millions of people at risk of famine. In Shanghai, 85% of the city’s major drinking rivers are too polluted to draw water from. Melting glaciers throughout Asia, meanwhile, threaten to deprive millions of people of drinking water in the years ahead.

By 2025, two-thirds of the global population could face water scarcity.

Global Citizen campaigns on universal access to clean drinking water and you can take action on this issue here

The tiny zone of holy water in Israel, Jordan, and Palestine is already facing a crisis and the AP captured the situation in a startling photo series.


Israel-Drought-Holy-Waters-1.jpgPeople enjoy a spring water pool along the Dead Sea shore near the Israeli Kibbutz of Ein Gedi on Dec. 8, 2017. The Dead Sea, a marvel of the natural world, is shrinking.
Image: Oded Balilty/AP

Israel-Drought-Holy-Waters-2.jpgIsraelis cross the Jordan River as part of their tour near the Israeli village of Menahemia on Jan. 17, 2017. The Jordan River, known for its prominence in the Bible, could be best described along much of its length as a creek.
Image: Oded Balilty/AP

Israel-Drought-Holy-Waters-3.jpgIsraelis camp out on the banks of the Jordan River near the northern Israeli Kibbutz of Kinneret on Oct. 11, 2017. Israel is heading into its fifth year of drought, putting three celebrated biblical bodies of water at risk.
Image: Oded Balilty/AP

Israel-Drought-Holy-Waters-4.jpgA woman walks next to sinkholes along the Dead Sea shore near the Israeli Kibbutz of Ein Gedi on April 2, 2017.
Image: Oded Balilty/AP

Israel-Drought-Holy-Waters-5.jpgPeople enjoy a spring water pool along the Dead Sea shore near the Israeli Kibbutz of Ein Gedi on Nov. 24, 2017.
Image: Oded Balilty/AP

Israel-Drought-Holy-Waters-6.jpgSwimmers participate in the annual Sea of Galilee swim, the oldest and most popular swimming event, near Tiberias, northern Israel on Sept. 16, 2017. The Sea of Galilee, the country's main water source, already stands at a century low.
Image: Oded Balilty/AP

Israel-Drought-Holy-Waters-7.jpgA Brazilian priest baptizes a Christian pilgrim in the Jordan River at Yardenit baptismal site in northern Israel on Jan. 31, 2017.
Image: Oded Balilty/AP

Israel-Drought-Holy-Waters-8.jpgA Palestinian shepherd herds his flock near the Israeli settlement of Tomer in the Jordan Valley on April 2, 2017.
Image: Oded Balilty/AP

Israel-Drought-Holy-Waters-9.jpgAn aerial view of the abandoned Kalya water park on the Dead Sea shore is pictured on Nov. 28, 2017.
Image: Oded Balilty/AP

Israel-Drought-Holy-Waters-10.jpgIsraelis recite morning prayers in an abandoned restaurant overlooking the Dead Sea near Kibbutz Kalya on Oct. 17, 2017.
Image: Oded Balilty/AP

Israel-Drought-Holy-Waters-11.jpgTourists shower as they enjoy the Dead Sea near Kibbutz Kalya on Oct. 16, 2017.
Image: Oded Balilty/AP

Israel-Drought-Holy-Waters-12.jpgSwimmers participate in the annual Sea of Galilee swim, the oldest and most popular swimming event, near Tiberias, northern Israel on Sept. 16, 2017. The Sea of Galilee, the country's main water source, already stands at a century low.
Image: Oded Balilty/AP