Last month Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority entered into an agreement that would help reverse a 50-year decline in the water level of the Dead Sea. In the plan, desalination plants would convert salt water from the Red Sea to drinkable water. The briny remains would then be pumped to the Dead Sea. Jordan and the West Bank are chronically short of fresh water. While Israel has a surplus, it too could experience a shortfall during an extended drought. The plan calls for Israel to increase the amount of water it sells to the Palestinian Authority by 30 million cubic meters each year. Some environmental groups are concerned about detrimental effects of transferring brine to the Dead Sea (Washington Post, December 9).