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Waterway Considered Holy to Millions Dwindles May 7, 2010
Lower Reaches of the Jordan River
The lower reaches of the Jordan River have become just a trickle in places due to irrigation upstream.
Long stretches of the famed Jordan River, in which Jesus is said to have been baptized, may have no water left for pilgrims to immerse in by next year, according to a report by Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian scientists.

Water diversion far upstream over the past five decades has reduced the once roaring waterway to a mere trickle in some places.

What was once the narrowest stretch of the river has now become its widest.

Despite efforts by Jordan and Israel to curb the flow of pollution into the biblical river, raw sewage and chemicals from agricultural runoff are now about the only thing flowing into it.

The report says that if no wastewater were to enter the lower Jordan River, it would entirely dry up.

Visiting Christians are discouraged from re-enacting or conducting baptisms there because of the current level of contamination.

Photo: Stock