World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies

Barcelona, July 19th - 24th 2010


Sustainable Water Management in the Middle East (227-b) - NOT_DEFINED activity_field_Panel

· NOT_DEFINED date: WED 21, 2.30-4.30 pm

· NOT_DEFINED institution: Water Resources Engineering Lund University (Sweden)

· NOT_DEFINED organizer: Ronny Berndtsson and Kenneth M Persson

· NOT_DEFINED language: English

· NOT_DEFINED description: Water is the most precious and valuable natural resource in the Middle East, that limits and allows for socioeconomic growth, sustainability of the environment, and human survival. At Lund University, water research in the Middle East region has taken place in a broad perspective since at least 1960. With the start of the Lund University Centre for Middle East Studies (CMES), an even stronger focus of the research has been on understanding mechanisms on how to improve water safety for people and environment in the region. Through the CMES, a number of research projects have been initiated and the established broad network of contacts with leading universities of the Middle East strengthened. In this seminar, the sharing of the knowledge of how to analyse environmental methods to address sustainable water management is in focus. We will also address the best practices for sustainable water management, with examples presented from Egypt, Jordan, Palestine and Tunisia.

Chair: Ronny Berndtsson (Water Resources Engineering Lund University)

Paper discussant: Kenneth M Persson (Water Resources Engineering Lund University)

Paper presenter: Khaldoon A. Mourad (Water Resources Engineering Lund University), “Economic value of tree fruit production in Jordan Valley from a virtual water perspective”
This paper focuses on analyzing the economic value of cultivating tree fruit from a virtual water perspective. The virtual water calculations in this study depend on the average rainfall, water quota, and the crops’ water requirements (CWR). The results were analyzed from an integrated water resources management (IWRM) perspective. The analysis shows that a way to recover some of the water costs involved in, e.g., banana production would be to increase the fertilizer cost by about 10%. This would double the water cost and increase the banana production cost by about 6.8%.

Paper presenter: Raed AlShaaer (Lund University Water Resources Engineering), “Possibilities and Environmental Problems with Large-scale Desalination Plants in the MENA Countries”
In this paper, the importance of correct brine discharge design will be analyzed and different methods on how to reduce negative effects of brine plumes in seawater reviewed. How to take advantage of the initial vertical momentum flux of the discharge with negative buoyancy will be presented. Since larger supply of freshwater on land will generate larger volumes of wastewater, the issue of improving the water budget for areas with desalination will be discussed and suggestions to how to reuse water through tertiary wastewater treatment presented. The implications for decision makers of the desalination cities pin-pointed. Properly organized, desalination will offer a better and safer world. The paper will try to present some of the answers for how to get there.

Paper presenter: Mohammad Aljaradin (Water resources Eng Lund University), “Imminent Threats to Groundwater Resources in the Middle East Due to Uncontrolled Landfilling”
The Middle East Countries (MEC) are characterized by scarce water resources; the shortage of the available water resources in the region along with occurrences of severe drought during the last 25 years and rapid population growth rate have increased pressure on groundwater resources extremely. The majority of the MEC depends totally on the groundwater as the only available resource. Landfilling is the most common method to handle solid waste. The aim of this study is to address the possible effect of uncontrolled landfill on groundwater quality spatially on the shared aquifers, through viewing all features of sensitivity of the these aquifers and their locations in addition to the sites of landfills and the amount and quality of waste generated in each region.

Paper presenter: Yasser Hamed (Suez Canal University), “Investigation of the Extent of Pollution in Lake Manzala, Northeastern of Egypt”
Lake Manzala is located on the northeastern edge of the Nile Delta, Egypt. The lake is exposed to high levels of pollutants from industrial, domestic, and agricultural sources. The objective of this study is to investigate different potential pollution causes at certain sites of the lake. Results show that all the water and soil samples collected from the five sites contain elevated concentration of the five tested heavy metals. The most alarming result was found when analyzing fish; all the fish samples were contaminated on surface and internally with very high amounts of TVB and FCB at gill and intestine. Fish samples also had high concentrations of analyzed heavy metals in flesh, with for instance a mean value of Pb as high as 3.8 mg/g flesh. This confirms that lake fish is highly polluted and dangerous for human health.

Paper presenter: Sihem Jebari (National Res Ins for Rural Eng, Waters and Forestry, Tunisia), “Landscape changes due to farming”
Water erosion brings negative consequences for rural development. It leads to significant changes in the sedimentological and hydrological characteristics of watersheds. This research work aims at studying short and long-term temporal effects of water erosion. The site of the Tunisian semi arid was chosen for this research work. The relationship between the different types of agricultural landscape management has been debated according to the soils’ potential production, to their solid transport and deposit, to the development of hydrographical networks and finally to flood frequency. The results proved that water erosion is the origin of a development of the hydrographic network and a progression of the deltaic plain. Moreover, due to river choking, the number of overflooding occurrences has multiplied over at least a century. Finally, it was revealed that water erosion follows a specific cycle of degradation through the watershed.