Jordan Says Red Sea-Dead Sea Project Picks Won’t Be Before June

Jordan won’t choose companies for a $900 million project to desalinate Red Sea water and help rescue the Dead Sea, shrinking by a meter (3.3 feet) a year, until the second half of 2014, a government spokesman said.

Omar Salameh, spokesperson of the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, said the project is expected to start this year with a plant to be built in the Red Sea port of Aqaba that can produce about 80 million cubic meters of drinking water.

“The project will provide Jordan with much-needed water, especially as the country is one of the poorest in terms of water in the world,” Salameh said yesterday by phone.

Brine generated from desalinating the water to be supplied to the Dead Sea as a pilot test has environmental groups calling for further studies. The lowest place on Earth has lost a third of its surface area from drought, agricultural diversion and pumping to extract minerals for fertilizers.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mohammad Tayseer in Amman, Jordan at mtayseer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Randall Hackley at rhackley@bloomberg.net

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