About the Project

Since the inception of the national carrier, which facilitated the diversion of Kinneret water from the Dead Sea to various regions across the country, there has been a notable decline in the Dead Sea’s water level. This issue has exacerbated over the years, with the water level continuing to recede independent of the diversion, attributable to both the operations of the Dead Sea factories and a natural evaporation process.

This diminishing water flow has led to a disconnect between the northern and southern parts of the Dead Sea, intensifying the drying process and resulting in a substantial accumulation of salt on the seabed. Annually, around 20 million tons of salt settle in the evaporation ponds situated in the southern part of the Dead Sea, including areas near hotels. The primary objective of the project is to mitigate the buildup of salt.

Utilizing a specialized mining machine positioned on a barge, known as the ‘salt harvester,’ the accumulated salt at the seabed is collected and transported to the northern part to stabilize the water level in the evaporation ponds. This proactive measure not only ensures the stability of the region but also safeguards populated and tourist areas from potential flooding.

Looking ahead, when the national carrier operates in the opposite direction, the water will have the potential to naturally return to the Sea of Galilee and subsequently flow back to the Dead Sea.

The Salt Dredger

The dredger’s construction was and remains a unique and extraordinary project. Since the Dead Sea is not connected to any other body of water, it was necessary to build the dredger on land in an empty pond. The building and assembly process took approximately one year, for which parts specially designed and manufactured were imported for the project. The dredger is approximately 150 meters long and 100 meters wide. Upon conclusion of the building phase, the pond was filled with water to cause the dredger to float until it would be capable of sailing into the Dead Sea. The Salt Dredger is a unique boat that is capable of floating on very shallow water and additionally has “legs” by which it can move through areas of extremely shallow water. The dredger operates via sonar to scan the pond floor for salt.

Work on the Salt Harvest project began in October 2022 and, at the end of its first year, harvested 8 million m3 of salt, a considerable amount far beyond the set target. This project is the first of its kind in Israel. Before the dredger’s operation, salt harvesting occurred successfully only in smaller boats or devices, and the harvests were very small.

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