Water-DROP Pilot site activities in Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan

Water-DROP Pilot site activities in Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan
August 31st 2015

Thirteen partners has joined the ENPI CBCMED funded project “Water-DROP” which aims at overcoming the mismanagement of the water resources and foster coherency among different policies influencing water at Mediterranean level. Five pilot actions implemented in four Countries cover a broad range of water-use related aspects: marine and fresh water monitoring in Lebanon, water treatment and reuse in agriculture in Palestine, water recovery and governance in Jordan and recovery of a natural wetland in Italy. In the strategy of the Water-DROP, these pilot actions represent - on the one hand - the project response to the needs of the territories, and on the other the appropriate tool to put into practice the integrated water cycle management approach. Further to this, data collected, once elaborated, analysed and harmonised, will feed a GIS-based Decision Supporting System (GIS-DSS) tool to produce models for future appropriate governance of water resources.

In Lebanon, three rivers of the northern coast are investigated by the National Centre for Marine Sciences of the CNRS Lebanon to evaluate their relative impact on the freshwater/seawater interface. Four seasonal campaigns constitutes the monitoring programme aiming at assessing the contamination from heavy metals, bacteriological and physic-chemical parameters, organic pollutants and nutrients in three rivers (Antelias, Ibrahim and Al-Jauz). Following a winter with a high rate of precipitations, the third data collection campaign started in the month of May 2015. Meanwhile, first elaborations of the data collected during the previous two campaigns (summer 2014, winter 2015) were initiated.

Pictures: sampling activities implemented on June 6, 2015 with the support of the R/V CANA-CNRS.

Table: Water temperature variation according to depth in the marine sampling points facing the mouth of the Ibrahim River. Data were collected in the summer 2014 campaign

On the Orontes Basin (Assi river, Lebanon) a set of targeted interventions – such as sewage system, trout farms management, 10 constructed wetland micro-interventions - are implemented by the Planning and Development Agency (PDA). Water quality is being monitored and economic-environmental evaluation performed using the GIS-DDS. In the last few months, infections analyses for 10 sampling points on the Assi river were repeated 5 times in order to define river’s major sources of pollution. In addition to that, PDA has completed the preparation phase needed to allow an appropriate construction of the sewage system, and seven points for phyto-depuration ponds were selected.

In Palestine, a water treatment plant is implemented for the water reuse in agriculture and its efficiency monitored through the study of the main water parameters. In terms of water policies, the uncertain socioeconomic situation and the fluctuation of political conditions are effecting the reform of existing legal and institutional arrangement. The Palestinian Hydrology Group (PHG) fosters the engagement of private sector and the strengthening of community based water organisations to minimize the impact of uncertainties and to create an efficient participatory water policies model. As part of the implementation of the Beni Zeid wastewater treatment plant, the PHG installed the irrigation network and planted thirty fruit and olive trees to be the pilot of reuse. The network consists of a storage tank measuring 10 cubic meter, 200 m of main pipes, approximately 500 meters of drip irrigation system, and 300 meters of fence. 

Picture: Fruit trees planted in the area of Beni Zeid and storage tanks

In Jordan, practical solutions are implemented by the International Union for Conservation of Nature-Jordan (IUCN-Jordan) for improve the local water management and improvement of livelihood situation of the local residents by realising 26 households and saving water systems in five schools, implementing water harvesting wells for the house hold with a capacity of 35 cubic meter / house. Recent follow-ups consisted in the handover of construction works such as water harvesting wells from roofs, the construction of water harvesting systems in the villages of Aallan, Diarah, Jalaad, Um Alamad inBalqa governorate. On Monday June 1st, 2015, the project technical committee handed over the construction work of water harvesting wells constructed for 26 beneficiaries and 5 public schools in the Balqa governorate. 

Picture: Hand over rain water harvesting construction work to the beneficiaries

In Italy, an evaluation of an auto depurative capacity of a natural wetland system and a feasibility study for the recovery thought a constructed wetland is carried out, with 4 monitoring campaigns.