Work included study of the impact of construction works on the environment including noise and dust emission from construction sites, additional traffic loads, sea water turbidity and marine life (during construction of the breakwater and sea intake), landscape deterioration (to be rectified by landfill and reclamation after construction), and temporary disturbance to wildlife.
The impact of the project during project operation was considered under the following:
• The Mediterranean shore in the vicinity of the intake, shore currents and beach sand transport - effects on these elements will be largely mitigated by appropriate groyne construction works.
• Groundwater aquifer quality as a result of possible leakage of saline sea water from the pipe, canal and tunnel conveyance components, and from the regulating reservoirs, inclusive of possible seismic incidents and damage to underground structures. In this context it should be noted that the project layout and the conveyance along 80 km of the 120 km route will be by a concrete lined tunnel which traverses unused brackish aquifers.
• Dead Sea Shoreline - the project will restore the Dead Sea (a terminal lake) to its historic level of 390.5 below sea level over a period of some 20 years (the level of the sea has fallen some 12 m over the past 30 years as a result of upstream diversions for irrigation and high evaporation rates. On the other hand, various facilities constructed over the past 30 years such as roads,therapeutic baths, cultivated land, and various other structures will require protection or relocation.
• Dead Sea Water Quality introduction of the sea water from the Mediterranean expelled from the power plant is expected to restore the natural salinity stratification of the Dead Sea. Dilution of the epilimnion will hardly affect Dead Sea users (potash and salt producers, and therapeutic facilities) but some precipitation of aragonite and halite might occur, though the effect would be insignificant. Neither is significant algae or bacterial development expected as a result of the dilution of the Dead Sea brine.
• Potash Plants - though additional dykes around the evaporation ponds would be required, the plants would benefit in the long run owing to reduced pumping lifts as a consequence of the rise in water levels.
• General Landscape - most of the project components are below ground, while others will be designed to blend into the environmental setting. Suitable landscaping and replanting works will be executed to restore the original character of the area in the excavated areas and at sites of above ground components.
• Wildlife - the effects of the project on vegetation and wildlife are insignificant since no threatened or endangered species are found along the project alignment.
The project will have a number of positive environmental benefits owing to the avoidance of smoke and other pollutants from fuel-fired power plants which would otherwise be necessary, and the opportunity for establishment of recreation facilities and saline water marine agriculture which will be made possible by the existence of the 22- km section of open canal.