The Dead Sea is of great economic importance to Israel. Tourism, sale of products containing the salt or mud of the dead sea all bring money into a country with almost zero natural resources. But, this is a problem that comes not just from the using of the Jordan river, but a number of other rivers as well- Ein Gedi, a freshwater spring isn't far away from the Dead Sea and its water is used as drinking water (And a popular bottled water!) inside Israel. All the 'sweet water' has been diverted in Israel, as it has in most desert places. As a result, only salty water is being diverted to the Dead Sea. This means, of course, that the sea is shrinking. The Canal from the red sea is not new- I've heard talk of that since 2006, at least, when I was in Israel last. Israel, however, has some of the brightest minds in the world. I'm hoping they'll come up with a great way to make this work.