The Lowdermilk plan: An old dream and a new reality


  • Anonymous


The idea of exploiting the 400- meter height difference between the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea to generate electric power has been the dream of Israeli planners as far back as the 1920's. In the 1930's, Walter Clay Lowdermilk, past president of the AGU, expounded an almost visionary plan calling for the digging of a seawater canal from Haifa Bay to the Dead Sea to generate hydroelectric power on a vast scale. Recent advances in tunnel technology have finally made the Lowdermilk plan both technically and financially feasible. According to recent Israeli estimates, a pipeline-canal from the Mediterranean to the Dead Sea could provide sufficient thrust to run a 600-MW power station—enough to supply roughly 20% of the country's present energy needs. The flow of water could also be regulated to provide power when most needed during peak periods of consumption.