The Jordan River is important to Christians as the place Jesus was baptized, and for other reasons it is cherished by Jews and Muslims. To the people of the Middle East–notably Israel, the West Bank and Jordan, it is a crucial economic resource. Unfortunately,by the time the Jordan’s water is sucked out for agriculture and other needs the natural flow has been reduced 96 percent. It’s a creek at the end, and totally polluted.
Now, according to Citiscope (the product of veteran journalist Neal Peirce and his associates), an environmental association is attempting to organize international assistance to revive the river. Mayors from 114 North American cities have joined in a common pursuit to help raise donor money for the effort.
One has to wonder what that effort will entail. If it is shutting off water to Israeli farmers and residents, it would seem doomed. If it is directed to further economizing water use and finding ways to recycle and purify sewage that now goes directly into the Jordan, it would be a big plus. Associated with it is rescue of the Dead Sea. That famous landmark and recreation spot is not just “dead” but disappearing fast.