Watch: Israeli photographer raises global awareness for shrinking of the Dead Sea

After documenting the rapid drying-out of the Dead Sea over a period of more than a year, Noam Bedein decided to share his troubling discoveries with others. He now guides groups of travelers from all around the world, showing them places only reachable by boat.

 

It is a well-known fact that the Dead Sea, one of Israel’s most famous and beautiful natural sites, is constantly shrinking. But seeing it in pictures can be much more powerful and disturbing than simply reading about it. That is why Noam Bedein, an Israeli photographer, has been devoting his work to the Dead Sea for over a year now, capturing its gradual recession in a series of breathtaking, and genuinely sad, photos.

Since 1960, the highly-salty, mineral-rich body of water, nominated in 2009 as one of the seven Wonders of the World, has lost one third of its surface area. These rapid changes can be seen vividly in Bedein’s pictures. Here, for example, are three pairs of pictures taken at the very same locations just a year apart from each other.

Photo credit: Noam Bedein
Photo credit: Noam Bedein
Photo credit: Noam Bedein

“It was shocking and alarming to witness how fast the Dead Sea is shrinking, with water levels currently being at their lowest in recorded history,” Bedein recounts.

After witnessing the Dead Sea shrinking before his very eyes, Bedein decided to share his troubling discoveries with others. Twice every month, he guides small groups of travelers, from Israel and many other countries all over the world, on a boat tour of the northern part of the sea.

By doing so, Bedein hopes to raise awareness for the problem, and what exactly can be done about it.

Bedein's "exploration boat" in action Photo credit: Noam Bedein

According to Bedein, the blame lies not only with the Israeli and Jordanian factories which pump water from the Dead Sea, but also – and perhaps mainly – with the ongoing depletion of the Jordan River, which feeds the Dead Sea, due to population growth and urban development.

"We need to think about the next generation and preserve the heritage of the Land of Israel,” Bedein says. “We need to care for what we want to hand over to them, including a more peaceful Middle East, where freshwater resources can be shared.”

“Indeed, cooperating and compromising in order to ensure fresh water to everyone in the region can, in itself, promote peace,” Bedein adds.

Bedein’s journey is displayed on his site, http://www.deadseastory.com and on his Instagram page.



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