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Shared Water Resources of Lebanon

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Water has become a challenging resource that many countries worldwide are concerned with. Thus, water is often linked with health, society development, national income and even international geo-politics. Sometimes, water resources are unavailable, but successful management involves developing approaches and projects to assure water supply. However, there are some countries with available water resources, but unsatisfactory management, and thus complain about water supply becoming a national problem. This situation is prevalent in Lebanon, a country characterized by abundant water resources whether on the surface or sub-surface. It is a paradox that there is still imbalance in water supply/demand in Lebanon, and water resources are now under stress due to chaotic use. This has been exacerbated by the oscillating climatic conditions, increased population and improper management. Therefore, people receive less than one-third of their water needs, and most water supplied is of poor quality. The current status shows a descending trend. Undoubtedly, if the water sector in Lebanon continues this way, we should anticipate unfavourable (and may be severe) consequences. Many studies have been conducted on water and related disciplines in Lebanon; however, all of them focus on specific themes and sometimes defined regions. Nevertheless, the occurred changes on the influencers (natural and man-made) have not been considered. This book is the first of its type for Lebanon, and it shows all aspects of water resources with updated measurements and findings obtained by adopting new techniques. It diagnoses in-depth the major elements of water flow/storage mechanism that have never been covered in such a comprehensive manner before. Also, this book introduces and analyses the existing challenges and proposes solutions. It represents a comprehensive investigation of the water resources in Lebanon.
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... Lebanon is a small, Middle Eastern country on the Mediterranean Sea. It is characterized by a subtropical climate, a high proportion of agricultural lands, and a significant amount of water resources compared to other countries in the same area [18]. The agriculture sector is one pillar of the economy in Lebanon, with the Bekaa and Akkar governorates constituting the most contribution due to their soil fertility and significant plains areas [19]. ...
... Although Lebanon has a wealth of natural resources, the country suffers from significant environmental pollution [41], water shortage, population growth, climate change, and economic inflation [42,18]. Lebanon ranked first in cancer incidence among the Arab countries [43], and 40% of death related to heart attacks and cancer in Lebanon were linked to air pollution [41]. ...
... Water waste, pollution, evaporation, drought, and excessive demand due to Syrian refugee overpopulation are responsible for Lebanon's water scarcity [59]. More than 50% of Lebanon's surface and groundwater, the primary sources for agricultural activity and people's daily use, are polluted and undrinkable [18]. Banned and dangerous pesticides, fertilizers, non-treated municipal sewage -and heavy metals such as Nickel and Cadmium were detected in many water bodies across the country [39,23,26,24] According to the Environmental Quality Standard, the accepted level of one pesticide in water should not exceed 0.1 ug/L, and the total level of pesticides found in water should be less than Annals of Epidemiology and Public Health 0.5ug /l [60]. ...
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The regular use of plant protection products in modern agriculture improved the quality and quantity of yield products. Exposure to pesticides through water, food, or breathing polluted air has become a significant public health burden. In Lebanon, agriculture activities are not tightly controlled; many farmers do not respect the proper pesticide handling measures, and banned pesticides are illegally smuggled into the country through unsecured borders. This article overviewed all published papers between 2012 and 2022 regarding pesticide occurrence in Lebanon’s environmental matrix, food residue, biomonitoring studies, and their health repercussions. We conclude that pesticide levels in the surface and groundwater increased over time. Prohibited pesticides and high maximum residue levels were detected in water, organic, and conventional fruit and vegetable samples. Human biomonitoring studies disclose minor residues from the organochlorine pesticide family prohibited in Lebanon since 1982. Knowledge, Attitude, and practice survey in Lebanon approved pesticide malpractice, illiteracy, and lack of safety measures among farmers. The health effect of pesticides is undoubtedly well-known and confirmed. Hence, epidemiological studies are still scarce in Lebanon. Solutions to this burden lie in the cooperation between all the stakeholders. Law enforcement, continuous monitoring programs, and implementing Good agriculture practices (GAP) are essential for a new sustainable and safe agriculture paradigm.
... Also, the map of Lebanon is shown in relation to the rest of the globe on the bottom right of this panel. Figure 1B shows the potential recharge map for the whole Lebanese territory, and in our study area there is a mixture of high to very high recharge (yellow) in the West Beqaa, moderate recharge (orange) in the Rashaya District, and low to very low recharge (purple) in the Zahle District (Shaban 2020;El Hage et al. 2020). ...
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Regions with high productivity of agriculture often rely on groundwater supplies for irrigation demand. Recent reports have indicated that groundwater consumption in these regions has been unsustainable, and quantifying rates of groundwater depletion has remained a challenge. Here, we utilize 15 years of data (June 2002–April 2017) from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite mission to show Total Water Storage (TWS) changes in Lebanon’s Beqaa Plain. We then obtain complimentary information on various hydrologic cycle variables, such as soil moisture storage, snow water equivalent, and canopy water storage from the Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS) model, and surface water data from the largest body of water in this region, the Qaraaoun Reservoir, to disentangle the TWS signal and calculate groundwater storage changes. After combining the information from the remaining hydrologic cycle variables, we determine that most of the losses in TWS are due to groundwater depletion in the Beqaa Plain. These results match what has been shown for various regions across the world, including California, Iran, and India. Results for the Beqaa Plain, Lebanon, show that the rate of groundwater storage change in the West Beqaa is nearly +0.08 cm/yr, in the Rashaya District is −0.01 cm/yr, and in the Zahle District the level of depletion is roughly −1.10 cm/yr. Results are confirmed using Sentinel-1 interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) data, which provide high-precision measurements of land subsidence changes caused by intense groundwater usage. Furthermore, data from local monitoring wells are utilized to further showcase the significant drop in groundwater level that is occurring through much of the region. For monitoring groundwater storage changes, our recommendation is to combine various data sources, and in areas where groundwater measurements are lacking, we especially recommend the use of data from remote sensing.
... During winter the ULRB carries huge loads of suspended sediments which result turbid water, whereas in the dry season the river runs off with low energy and least turbidity appears. During this study the average annual discharge of the ULRB is 17.19 m 3 /sec; while the average discharge for the wet season is 22.29 m 3 /sec and that of the dry season is 8.81 m 3 /sec (Shaban & Hamze, 2017). ...
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Surface water quality is largely influenced by both natural processes and anthropogenic inputs. This study involves the characterization of the concentration of heavy metals of Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn, and the sources of pollution in water and sediment of the Upper Litani River Basin (ULRB) in Lebanon. The investigation was performed during three seasons of rainy, mid-rainy spring and wet periods for two years during different flow rates. Sediments were characterized by a set of chemical analyses, cation exchange capacity (CEC), mineralogy of the sediments, X-ray diffraction (XRD), and Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). To assess metal contamination in sediment, Consensus-Based Sediment Quality Guidelines of Wisconsin (CBSQG) were applied. The metals contamination in the sediments was also evaluated by contamination factor (Cf). The test results showed that the effect of seasonal variations was significant in the Upper Litani River Basin. Principal Compound Analysis (PCA) and Pearson's correlation were also performed in this study to compare and determine the correlation between metals in water and sediments. The concentrations of Pb, Cd, Cu, Cr and Zn in all sediment samples are above the norms in winter, while Fe was increased in summer. The results showed that the importance of monitoring of changes of heavy metals values and physico-chemical characterization of different parameters could represent the possibility of a comprehensive assessment of negative pressures on the water and soil ecosystem of Litani River Basin during different seasons.
... phyllite, slate, and shale (P) )-0.34%, and acid intrusives-undifferentiated (Ag)-89.03% (Cahyadi et al. 2017;Kheir et al. 2008;Raj 2019;Shaban and Hamzé, 2017). ...
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Flooding is a major and recurring natural disaster in Northeast Penang, Malaysia. The ability to effectively identify flood hazard areas represents an important part of flood risk analysis and management. There is a need for a structured study that incorporates stakeholders’ inputs such as the multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) model to delineate flood-prone locations to support the management and mitigation measures of flooding in this area. Previous studies have compared the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and fuzzy AHP methods in flood hazard mapping. Therefore, this study proposes to test the predicting capability of three MCDM models in the determination of flood-prone areas: the AHP, triangular fuzzy AHP (TF-AHP), and trapezoidal fuzzy AHP (TZF-AHP) in this area. The methodology applies nine flood-causative factors (FCFs) which include drainage density, elevation, land use, slope, rainfall, flood depth, distance from rivers, lithology, and distance from inundation. The resulting flood hazard maps showed a closer similarity between the TF-AHP and TZ-AHP methods compared to the AHP method for flood hazard mapping. The sensitivity analysis indicated that the AHP was more accurate than the fuzzy AHP models based on the weight estimation. The validation results showed that 100%, 93%, and 93% of the actual flood events occurred in the ‘moderate’ to ‘very high’ flood hazard areas for the AHP, TF-AHP, and TZF-AHP, respectively. Overall results showed the accuracy of all three models in modeling flood hazard areas. Therefore, the findings can be adopted as a tool in making informed and accurate policies about flood management for effective climate mitigation decision making.
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Naturally, Lebanon’s water resources are sufficient to cope with the demand. There are many aspects of these resources whether as surface or subsurface ones. However, the country is still witnessing a severe situation in its water sector, and water supply/demand is imbalanced. Lebanon is uniquely occupying all components of the typical water cycle including the geothermal water. Nevertheless, this aspect of water is still unexplored, and it is rarely mentioned. A number of observations and evidences existed in several localities. Till quite recent, no attention has been given to these resources, and their geological setting is still unidentified. The preliminary geological field surveys and wells’ observations and characteristics obtained by the author showed that the geothermal groundwater resources are mainly occurring at depth in the proximity of the basalt rocks. All evidences are promising and can assure the existence of geothermal groundwater in different localities in Lebanon. This chapter introduces a comprehensive hydrogeological assessment on the mechanism of storage of geothermal groundwater, and it assists in identifying the geologic controls which are helpful tools in exploring their origin, and thus giving insights into their economic exploitation in both the terrestrial and marine environments. The chapter aims to emphasize on this water resource upon which decision makers can put strategies of renewable energy investment notably that Lebanon is in great need for energy sources.
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Human is highly concerned with Earth resources and the processes occur on the Earth's surface and he is always developing new tools and methods for investigating the Earth. Many of these resources and processes are still undiscovered while there is a rapid race in technologies to innovate more effective tools notably that the economic status worldwide requires to mobilize studies and researches for more sophisticated technologies. Perhaps, satellites are one significant aspect of these tools which have been widely used everywhere. Therefore, it is not exaggeration to say that all countries are now using satellites whether in communication or for resources exploration technologies where the latter, as the scope of this book, occupies numerous of applications. Therefore, Remote Sensing has been found since six decades, and there are tens thousands of these space shuttles accompanied with different types of satellites orbiting around the Earth. A large number of these satellites are assigned as Land Observatory satellites that capture images from space for different purposes. The use of satellites have been progressed along with the geo-information system as a supporting tool for geo-spatial data manipulation. This chapter illustrates a comprehensive discussion satellite images and their technical specifications.KeywordSpace techniquesAster imagesSpatial resolutionDigital numberThematic maps
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The Middle East Region exceeds 7 million km2 surface area, which is equivalent to 5% of the total area of the Globe, with approximately 4.4% of the total population. Its geographic location between three continents makes it an international hub where several activities are located. The Middle East Region is characterized by arid to semi-arid climate; and therefore, it is the most water-poor region where the average annual precipitation is below 200 mm besides a potential evapotranspiration exceeding 2000 mm. Recently, the dramatic population growth in the region accompanied with agricultural development and the relevant activities created overstress on water resources and the per capita sometimes does not exceed 100 m3/year. This has been exacerbated by the changing climate towards increase in temperature and with torrential rain patterns and recurrence of climatic extremes. The socioeconomic status in the Middle East Region along with the geo-political conflicts contributed on the mismanagement of water resources, notably the shared resources. Beside this unfavorable situation in the water sector, the applied adaptation and mitigation measures are still insufficient to cope with the least water demand. This chapter will illustrate an overview on water resources in the Middle East Region where the striking challenges will be tackled.KeywordAridityTorrential rainFossil groundwaterFloodsTransboundary water
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Stream flow into the sea, as plumes, is a widespread hydrologic phenomenon in many coastal zones. These plumes have different hydrologic regime between watercourses and this is controlled by rainfall rate and patterns, as well as by the morphometric and geometric properties of drainage systems. In order to compare the mechanism of water input/output, that is, precipitation amounts in a drainage system versus streamflow outlets into the sea, times series datasets must be primarily prepared. In this regards, remotely sensed data can fulfill this comparison by accounting the temporal records and short-term retrieval time after an event. This study aims at investigating the use of remote sensing datasets in assessing diverse hydrologic characteristics of streamflow into the sea where ten Lebanese coastal rivers were used. Therefore, the Tropical Rainfall Mapping Mission (TRMM) microwave datasets and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectro-radiometer (MODIS-Terra) images were used. Rainfall data retrieved from TRMM was compared with the available ground measurements from the in-situ gauges. Therefore, comparison has be applied between the areal extent of freshwater plumes and the measured river discharge from flow-meters. The results showed that both have a variance between 0.71 and 1.30 which stems from variable inland slopes and rainfall patterns. The lag time and residence times of plumes in the seawater were calculated and then compared for the streamflow of all investigated rivers. The resulted lag times (rainfall versus appurtenance into the sea) ranges between 1 and 4 days, while the residence time of plumes sustains between 3 and 8 days. The year 2002 was selected for the study, and this was based on data availability from space-borne and field measurements. The applied methodology proved to be reliable and cost effective and it can be adopted to different time periods for the Lebanese rivers, especially when streamflow data are lacking.KeywordsCoastal riverRunoffSlopeSpace techniquesLebanon
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In this paper, a new hybrid DRASTIC-based fuzzy C-means (FCM) clustering technique is utilized to find the real relation among the affecting parameters of each hydrogeological point resulting in vulnerability and the fuzzy membership degree of each point to the “most-vulnerable class”. This procedure can be done instead of holding a summation through all affecting parameters to form vulnerability index as implemented in the ordinary DRASTIC method. In DRASTIC, any changes in one point’s parameter value may cause that point to move to another vulnerability class or points which have obviously different parameter values may belong to the same vulnerability class. While in fuzzy logic, each point partly belongs to each vulnerability class and does not necessarily belong to a specific one. This is the main motivation to use FCM clustering technique. In this paper, the vulnerability map of Damaneh-Daran aquifer, located in Isfahan province in central Iran, is prepared using DRASTIC and hybridizing DRASTIC and FCM. The analytical-experimental investigations reveal the weighting power of 1.75 is the best value among 1.25, 1.5, 1.75 and 2. In this weighting power, there are approximately 51%, 21% and 1% decreases in the area percentages covered by low, medium and high vulnerability clusters, respectively, while the area percentages covered by very low and very high clusters increases 8 and 5 times than those of the ordinary DRASTIC, respectively, mainly due to partial membership of the hydrogeological points in the fuzzy clusters, making the areas covered much more evenly distributed among different vulnerability classes. To validate the proposed model, the final vulnerability indices were compared with the nitrate concentration of the aquifer assuming four fuzzy intensity levels. The results indicate the FCM-DRASTIC-based vulnerability zoning have more correlation with the nitrate concentration zoning of the aquifer than the ordinary DRASTIC model.KeywordsClusteringDRASTICFuzzy C-meansGroundwaterVulnerability
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Groundwater exploration has been following many approaches and different tools are used to identify define clues on terrain surface that evidence groundwater accumulation and flow. Sometimes positive results are reached, but this is not always the case and in many other cases the dug boreholes are found empty or with little amount of groundwater. Therefore, it is necessary to adopt a credible approach for groundwater exploration where hydrogeologists rely on during preliminary surveys. Recently, the development of remote sensing techniques enabled following successful approaches. In particular, satellite images are processed to enabling identifying signatures for groundwater storage and flow. The most significant among these signatures are the linear features, to so-called lineaments which can be observed on satellite images. These signatures often reflect fracture system and other types of rock deformation, where the latter constitute a major controlling hydrogeological elements that must be taken into account. This study has been initiated to deduce an empirical relationship between the characteristics of lineaments and the location of boreholes with their productivity. Three main lineaments properties were analyzed using Landsat 7 ETM+ images and GIS techniques. These are the lineaments frequency, density and fault lineaments. The obtained lineament maps were overlapped with the location of water wells in 90 sites from different regions of Lebanon. It was resulted that there is clear relationship between the proximity of fault lineaments and water well with considerable productive. Therefore, this relationship can be adopted in groundwater exploration, notably in a terrain with intensive rock deformations like the case of Lebanon.KeywordsInfiltrationGroundwater pumpingFissuresSpace techniquesLebanon
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Freshened groundwater exists offshore along many coastlines worldwide. Pumping of these offshore resources has been proposed for more efficient oil production as well as drinking and agriculture. Although pumping can occur tens to hundreds of kilometers offshore, these activities may threaten connected onshore aquifer systems. We conducted numerical simulations of variable-density groundwater flow and salt transport in coastal aquifers with different geologic structure subject to offshore pumping to assess potential impacts. Results show that offshore pumping can diminish both onshore groundwater availability and submarine groundwater discharge and can cause widespread land subsidence. Heterogeneity increases water resource vulnerability relative to equivalent homogeneous and layered systems and exacerbates the magnitude of land subsidence. More continuous geologic structure causes propagation of maximum subsidence farther landward. This work suggests that coastal aquifers may be vulnerable to offshore pumping activities and that these effects should be considered in feasibility assessments for offshore drilling.
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The extreme shortage of public water supplies in most countries of the Middle East has steadily commanded a great political importance. Regional disputes over the riparian rights relevant to the transboundary surface and groundwater resources are imminent. Therefore, it is opportune to plan for feasible, affordable, and sustainable measures such as conservation, wastewater reclamation, artificial recharge, and particularly utilization of deep groundwater and submarine springs. Chekka Bay, in the north of Lebanon, is well known for its freshwater springs. A general objective of the study was set at evaluating the feasibility of exploiting the submarine springs in the Chekka Bay taking into consideration the technical, economic, social and environmental aspects of such a project. The study has been subdivided into three parts, namely hydrogeological, marine and socioeconomic. Offshore exploitation of the submarine springs could face implementation problems as it is technically difficult, financially expensive, and yields a qualitatively unacceptable water. A more suitable alternative would be to tap the submarine springs inland through wells of differing depths. The financial feasibility of the latter alternative has been confirmed through a cost-benefit analysis.
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During the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Solid Precipitation Intercomparison Experiment (SPICE), automated measurements of snow water equivalent (SWE) were made at the Sodankylä (Finland), Weissfluhjoch (Switzerland) and Caribou Creek (Canada) SPICE sites during the northern hemispheric winters of 2013/14 and 2014/15. Supplementary intercomparison measurements were made at Fortress Mountain (Kananaskis, Canada) during the 2013/14 winter. The objectives of this analysis are to compare automated SWE measurements with a reference, comment on their performance and, where possible, to make recommendations on how to best use the instruments and interpret their measurements. Sodankylä, Caribou Creek and Fortress Mountain hosted a Campbell Scientific CS725 passive gamma radiation SWE sensor. Sodankylä and Weissfluhjoch hosted a Sommer Messtechnik SSG1000 snow scale. The CS725 operating principle is based on measuring the attenuation of soil emitted gamma radiation by the snowpack and relating the attenuation to SWE. The SSG1000 measures the mass of the overlying snowpack directly by using a weighing platform and load cell. Manual SWE measurements were obtained at the intercomparison sites on a bi-weekly basis over the accumulation–ablation periods using bulk density samplers. These manual measurements are considered to be the reference for the intercomparison. Results from Sodankylä and Caribou Creek showed that the CS725 generally overestimates SWE as compared to manual measurements by roughly 30–35 % with correlations (r²) as high as 0.99 for Sodankylä and 0.90 for Caribou Creek. The RMSE varied from 30 to 43 mm water equivalent (mm w.e.) and from 18 to 25 mm w.e. at Sodankylä and Caribou Creek, which had respective SWE maximums of approximately 200 and 120 mm w.e. The correlation at Fortress Mountain was 0.94 (RMSE of 48 mm w.e. with a maximum SWE of approximately 650 mm w.e.) with no systematic overestimation. The SSG1000 snow scale, having a different measurement principle, agreed quite closely with the manual measurements at Sodankylä and Weissfluhjoch throughout the periods when data were available (r² as high as 0.99 and RMSE from 8 to 24 mm w.e. at Sodankylä and from 56 to 59 mm w.e. at Weissfluhjoch, where maximum SWE was approximately 850 mm w.e.). When the SSG1000 was compared to the CS725 at Sodankylä, the agreement was linear until the start of ablation when the positive bias in the CS725 increases substantially relative to the SSG1000. Since both Caribou Creek and Sodankylä have sandy soil, water from the snowpack readily infiltrates into the soil during melt, even if the soil is frozen. However, the CS725 does not differentiate this water from the unmelted snow. This issue can be identified, at least during the late spring ablation period, with soil moisture and temperature observations like those measured at Caribou Creek. With a less permeable soil and surface runoff, the increase in the instrument bias during ablation is not as significant, as shown by the Fortress Mountain intercomparison.
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This book is divided into two parts; the first part describes the regional geology of the area and traces the geological evolution of the Middle East including Proterozoic cratonization; Proterozoic stratigraphic correlation; late Cretaceous tectonic events and ophiolite obduction; the Tertiary opening of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden; and the evolution of the Levant (Dead Sea) fracture. The second part concentrates on the petroleum resources of the area and their exploitation. A short section on other mineral resources is also included. -A.W.Hall