PalestinianLands: Understanding the Physical Environment of the Wadi el-Far’a as a Means for Assessing Environmental Problems
ProjectSectors Project Sectors Pollution Water Rights & Resources Land Use & Built-up areas Historical Sites Physical Environment
Physical Environment Sector Project Sectors Physical Environment: GEOGRAPHY, TOPOGRAPHY, GEOLOGY, HYDROLOGY, HYDROGEOLOGY
Structural Map of the Wadi el-Far’a Tectonic Map of the West Bank Source: Ghanem, 1999. Source: Ghanem, 1999. Geology
Water Balance Total Precipitation = 138.8 MCM/yr Total Evaporation - 71.3 MCM/yr Total water for infiltration and runoff = 67.5 MCM/yr Total runoff - 7.5 MCM/yr Total well pumping - 18 MCM/yr Total Spring discharge - 14.1 MCM/yr Water Balance = +27.9 MCM/yr Hydrology
Transmissivity map (m2/day) of the upper aquifer: 500 meter contour interval Contour Map of the Groundwater-phreatic zone (meter, relative to sea-level) Source: Ghanem, 1999. Source: Ghanem, 1999. Hydrogeology
Assessment of Environmental Problems • Water Balance equation reveal water surplus, but wells and springs running dry, indicating poor management and monitoring. • Water Quality is worse than poor, it is TOXIC. BUT, based on Physical Environment, solutions to these problems exist.
(NOT EXHAUSTIVE) Remediation Proposals • Environmental Remediations • a. Water and Soil monitoring and sampling; b. Extract toxic groundwater; c. Air pumping wells • Engineering Efforts • a. Recharge areas; b. Dams; c. Reservoirs; d. Wastewater treatment factility • Palestinian Management and Control • Laws promoting beneficial and sustainable use; b. Create agency to act as watchdog; c. Develop water projects • Introduce Efficient Irrigation Techniques • a. Drip vs. open canal irrigation; b. Friendly fertilizers • Teaching and bringing awareness • Drill new wells in high quality deep aquifer
Some Realities • Israel is unwilling to pass authority of water in the West Bank to the Palestinians, as they control over 80% of all water resources • Palestinians are unlikely to have an adequately established government with enough financial capital to act implement environmental recommendations • Israel has not allowed any water projects that increase Palestinian water supply since 1967, and will doubtfully will begin allowing such projects
Conclusions The solution to the many problems discussed above may lie in the use of foreign agencies like USAID to help understand, assess, recommend and implement such projects that bring about the sustainable use and allocation of water throughout the West Bank.
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