Saving the Jordan The Sacred Middle Eastern River is Dying

Sixty years ago, it carried 45 billion cubic feet of fresh water and powered a hydroelectric plant. Today, only 3.5 billion cubic feet flow down the lower Jordan River—and of this, about half is sewage or salt water. Some stretches are so dry, you’d have to portage a kayak. While deterioration on this scale is appalling anywhere, it’s especially so when the body of water, flowing through Israel and Jordan, has such deep resonance in human culture.