Palestinian Authority, Israel
Palestinian Authority, Israel

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Tal A.,Ben - Gurion University of the Negev | Khateeb N.A.,Water and Environmental Development Organization WEDO | Nagouker N.,Arava Institute for Environmental Studies | Akerman H.,Arava Institute for Environmental Studies | And 13 more authors.
International Journal of River Basin Management | Year: 2010

A 3 year study between a joint Palestinian and Israeli research team monitored two of their major shared watersheds: the Zomar/Alexander and the Hebron/Besor basins. The extremely degraded water quality conditions were traced to a variety of point and non-point pollution sources. This article summarizes the team's recommendations for future management activities if a coordinated rehabilitation effort is to be successful.A common restoration strategy should include transboundary planning that encompasses the entire watershed, with reduction in phosphorus loadings being a top shared priority. The sides should agree on common 'in-stream' standards and pollution reduction goals. Pollution reduction strategies must focus on eliminating contaminants at the source, rather than continuing present interventions that attempt to mitigate or treat pollutants after they are already in the stream. Non-point source controls, especially for agricultural runoff, have not been a priority until now, but must be adopted for water quality objectives to be met. Only through a joint rehabilitation strategy will progress be made in restoring the quality of these important natural resources.


Tal A.,Ben - Gurion University of the Negev | Khateeb N.A.,Water and Environmental Development Organization WEDO | Nagouker N.,Arava Institute for Environmental Studies | Akerman H.,Arava Institute for Environmental Studies | And 13 more authors.
International Journal of River Basin Management | Year: 2010

Although ephemeral streams constitute critical natural resources in dryland environments, water regulations and monitoring protocols typically focus on perennial streams, and may not always be appropriate for characterizing intermittent systems. The article presents findings from a comprehensive evaluation of environmental conditions in two ephemeral transboundary streams: the Hebron/Besor and Zomar/Alexander. The streams are representative of numer-ous watersheds which originate in Palestinian land and flow into Israel. Transboundary streams in the region exhibit high concentrations of point and non-point sources of pollution. Many of the region's streams that in the past had no flow except for isolated storm incidents have emerged as perennial streams, channelling raw or partially treated industrial or municipal wastes. Management of these natural resources constitutes a unique challenge because of the complex local political circumstances. The article presents chemical and biological monitoring results, identifying high levels of non-point source nutrient runoff during rainfall events and high percolation of contaminated streamwater during its flow that should be addressed in future restoration strategies. The practical challenges associated with the monitoring of ephemeral streams are also discussed with suggestions for future studies and management efforts. © 2010 International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research.

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