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Ramallah, Palestinian Territory

Dare A.E.,Purdue University | Mohtar R.H.,Qatar Foundation Research and Development | Boukchina R.,Institute des Regions Arides IRA | Rabi A.,Palestinian Hydrology Group | Shomar B.,Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute
American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting 2013, ASABE 2013 | Year: 2013

As the world population increases and water resources become more coveted, water emerges as the key component to impacting sustainability of global economy including global food security and economic growth. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is the driest region in the world, containing just one-percent of the world's freshwater resources. However logical wastewater reuse may be for bridging the supply-demand gap in this arid region, significant constraints prevent widespread adoption. For the MENA, economics and public perception seem to be among the most significant challenges for implementing a successful wastewater reuse scheme; however, other factors such as performance of treatment technologies, monitoring requirements, and policy intertwine to create more complex challenges. The overarching question for this research is: What are the factors limiting increased applications of treated wastewater reuse in agricultural production in the MENA countries? In particular, the goals of this project are to evaluate the technical performance of wastewater treatment facilities, countries' policies regarding the use of treated wastewater, and public perception regarding the use of these waters. Preliminary findings from comparative studies in Palestine, Tunisia, Qatar, and Midwest United States will be explored.


Grodek T.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Lange J.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Lekach J.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Husary S.,Palestinian Hydrology Group
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences | Year: 2011

The Mediterranean climate together with the type of urban setting found in mountainous Middle Eastern cities generate much lower runoff yields than previously reported and than usually estimated for urban design. In fact, a close analysis shows that most of the rainwater remains within the cities as a possible source for urban groundwater recharge. The present study examined two locales - Ramallah, an old traditional Palestinian Arab town, and Modiin, a new township in Israel - both situated on the karstic Yarkon Taninim aquifer. This aquifer supplies the only high-quality drinking water in the region (one quarter of the Israeli-Palestinian water demand), which is characterized by dense populations and limited water resources. This paper provides the first measured information on the hydrological effects of urbanization in the area. It was found that the shift of the mountainous natural steep slopes into a series of closed-terraces with homes and gardens create areas that are disconnected from the urban runoff response. Roofs drained into the attached gardens create favorable recharge units. Mainly low-gradient roads became the principal source for urban runoff already following 1-4 mm of rainfall. Parallel roads converted single peak hydrographs towards multi-peak runoff responses, increasing flow duration and reducing peak discharges. The remaining urban area (public parks, natural areas, etc.) generated runoff only as a result of high-magnitude rainstorms. All of the above conditions limited urban runoff coefficients to an upper boundary of only 35% and 30% (Ramallah and Modiin, respectively). During extreme rainstorms (above 100 mm) similar runoff coefficients were measured in urban and natural catchments as a result of the limited areas contributing to runoff in the urban areas, while natural terrain does not have these artificial limits. Hence, the effects of urbanization decrease with event magnitude and there is significant potential for urban groundwater recharge. However, frequent low-magnitude rainstorms often generate highly polluted stormwater in urban sewer systems and this water should only be used with great caution. © 2011 Author(s).


Rahman M.A.,University of Gottingen | Rusteberg B.,University of Gottingen | Uddin M.S.,University of Gottingen | Uddin M.S.,Institute of Water Modelling | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Environmental Management | Year: 2013

This paper describes an integrated approach of site suitability mapping and ranking of the most suitable sites, for the implementation of Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) projects, using spatial multicriteria decision analysis (SMCDA) techniques and mathematical modelling. The SMCDA procedure contains constraint mapping, site suitability analysis with criteria standardization and weighting, criteria overlay by analytical hierarchy process (AHP) combined with weighted linear combination (WLC) and ordered weighted averaging (OWA), and sensitivity analysis. The hydrogeological impacts of the selected most suitable sites were quantified by using groundwater flow and transport modelling techniques. Finally, ranking of the selected sites was done with the WLC method. The integrated approach is demonstrated by a case study in the coastal aquifer of North Gaza. Constraint mapping shows that 50% of the total study area is suitable for MAR implementation. About 25% of the total area is "very good" and 25% percent is "good" for MAR, according to the site suitability analysis. Six locations were selected and ranked against six representative decision criteria. Long term (year 2003 to year 2040) groundwater flow and transport simulations were performed to quantify the selected criteria under MAR project operation conditions at the selected sites. Finally, the suitability mapping and hydrogeological investigation recommends that the location of the existing infiltration ponds, constructed near the planned North Gaza Wastewater Treatment Plant (NGWWTP) is most suitable for MAR project implementation. This paper concludes that mathematical modelling should be combined with the SMCDA technique in order to select the best location for MAR project implementation. Besides MAR project implementation, the generalised approach can be applicable for any other water resources development project that deals with site selection and implementation. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Lange J.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Husary S.,Palestinian Hydrology Group | Gunkel A.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Bastian D.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Grodek T.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences | Year: 2012

In the Middle East, water is scarce and population growth causes a rapid rise of urban centers. Since many towns of the Palestinian Authority (PA) suffer from water shortage, the use of rainwater harvesting (RWH) as an alternative to conventional water supply has gained increasing interest among water resources planners. This study quantifies actual volumes of urban RWH to be expected from highly variable Mediterranean rainfall. A one-parameter model uses measured potential evaporation and high resolution rainfall data as input to calculate RWH volumes from rooftops inside Ramallah, a traditional Arab town. While during average seasons a 87% runoff harvest (480 from 550 mm of rainfall) can be expected, this value decreases to about 75% (190 from 250 mm of rainfall) during drought seasons. A survey comprising more than 500 questionnaires suggests that approximately 40% of the houses are equipped with RWH systems from which one third are out of use. Although water quality is perceived to be favourable, only 3% of the active RWH systems are actually used for drinking and only 18% for domestic purposes. All active RWH systems investigated may harvest approximately 16 × 10 3 m 3 of rooftop runoff during an average season and 6 × 10 3 m 3 during droughts. When these numbers are extrapolated to all houses in Ramallah, theoretical maximum potentials increase to approximately 298 × 10 3 m 3 during average seasons and 118 × 10 3 m 3 during droughts. A part of this potential can easily be exhausted by rehabilitation of installed RWH systems. The use of RWH for emergency water supply should be advocated, although care is needed because of hygienic risks. Regional estimates for the entire Lower Jordan River Basin yielded RWH potentials of 20 × 10 6 m 3 during the average season 2002/2003 but only 3 × 10 6 m 3 during the drought season 1998/1999. Thus, urban RWH is a relatively small contribution to overcome water scarcity in the region and decreases significantly during droughts. Yet it is a sustainable water resource, which is available on spot for everybody. Due to population growth and ongoing urbanization it will be more important in future. © Author(s) 2012.


Rahman M.A.,Leibniz University of Hanover | Rahman M.A.,University of Gottingen | Rusteberg B.,University of Gottingen | Uddin M.S.,University of Gottingen | And 4 more authors.
Water (Switzerland) | Year: 2014

For better planning of a managed aquifer recharge (MAR) project, the most promising strategies should analyze the environmental impact, socio-economic efficiency, and their contribution to the existing or future water resource conditions in the region. The challenge of such studies is to combine and quantify a wide range of criteria from the environment and society. This necessity leads to an integrated concept and analysis. This paper outlines an integrated approach considering environmental, health, social and economic aspects to support in the decision-making process to implement a managed aquifer recharge project as a potential response to water resource problems. In order to demonstrate the approach in detail, this paper analysed several water resources management strategies based on MAR implementation, by using treated wastewater in the Northern Gaza Strip and the potential impacts of the strategies on groundwater resources, agriculture, environment, health, economy and society. Based on the Palestinian water policy (Year 2005-2025) on wastewater reuse, three MAR strategies were developed in close cooperation with the local decision makers. The strategies were compared with a base line strategy referred to as the so-called "Do Nothing Approach". The results of the study show that MAR project implementation with treated wastewater at a maximum rate, considered together with sustainable development of groundwater, is the best and most robust strategy amongst those analyzed. The analysis shows the defined MAR strategies contribute to water resources development and environmental protection or improvement including an existing eutrophic lake. The integrated approach used in this paper may be applicable not only to MAR project implementation but also to other water resources and environmental development projects. © 2014 by the authors.

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