“Until the 1930s, the Jordan River carried 1.3 billion cubic metres of water annually from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea, but since then it has lost over 98 per cent of its flow, which, according to a new environmental flow report on the Jordan River, has left it a highly degraded ecosystem.”  Hana Namrouqa for The Jordan Times

You can read the full article on the demise of the Jordan River here.

Meandering its descend (its hebrew name means descender) from its source at the foot of Mount Hermon down to the Sea of Galilee and on to the Dead Sea this once mighty river made fertile “the whole plain of the Jordan” (Genesis 13:10).  In fact the Jordan Valley is likened to “the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt” (Genesis 13:10).  Apparently archeologists have found traces of ancient irrigations systems in the plain of the Jordan.

“[Today] diversion of the water by Israel, Syria and Jordan for domestic and agricultural purposes has left it consisting of only sewage, fish farm waters, agricultural run-off and saline water from salt springs around the Sea of Galilee.”  Hana Namrouqa for The Jordan Times

Hardly the sort of place for a miracle wash! (“Go and bathe seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh shall be clean” (2 Kings 5:10) ).  Not to mention the sort of place you’d want to set up a baptizing camp! (“all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him [John the Baptist] and were being baptized by him [John] in the river Jordan” (Mark 1:5) ).  This lowly trickle belittles the monumental crossing of the Israelites led by Joshua (Joshua 3 – 4).

Let’s hope the Jordan River Rehabilitation Project is a success.