|Transboundary Stream Restoration in Israel and the Palestinian Authority|
By Dr. Alon Tal, Lior Asaf, Neta Negaoker, Jonathan Laronne and Nader al Khateeb
Within Israel and the West Bank and Gaza Strip (WBGS), there are 15 streams that cross the Palestinian/Israeli Green Line. All originate in watersheds located in the Palestinian Authority, or in lands that will eventually be outside Israeli jurisdiction, and then flow into Israel toward the Mediterranean Sea, flow east to the Dead Sea, or the Jordan River. These transboundary streams of Israel and Palestine are plagued by severe pollution, posing a serious health hazard to humans and devastating the natural ecosystems.
Several factors have contributed to the severity of pollution in these streams. For many years, most streams were transformed into sewage conduits collecting raw sewage or low-quality effluent all year round. The region’s climate is semi-arid and increasing demand for water has led to overpumping of the available groundwater, drying up of the headwaters of many streams. A range of pollutants, including nonpoint agricultural runoff, urban stormwater, and discharge from industrial sites also can be found in many streams.
In 1994, the Ministry of the Environment established the River Restoration Administration as a coordinating body for actions taken by various governmental and nongovernmental bodies to restore or at least rehabilitate damaged streams. Although stream restoration constitutes a paramount environmental priority for both parties, the lack of a clear and relevant model that identifies and quantifies the key parameters for stream restoration including water flow, nutrient concentrations, and other contaminant loadings from nonpoint and point sources on a catchment scale across the virtual borders has frustrated all previous restoration attempts. The ultimate aim of the current research is to lay the foundations for an effective river-restoration strategy for Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Using a “catchment scale chemical and biological monitoring network,” the total pollution loadings into two transboundary streams whose geographic boundaries cross over the Israeli/Palestinian Green Line (the Zomar/Alexander and Hebron/Besor/Gaza) are to be characterized. This will for the first time enable a more systematic and comprehensive assessment of intervention options, their affect on stream restoration, and relative cost-effectiveness.
Israeli Nature Poll
"It is forbidden to live in a town that does not have greenery."
- Jerusalem Talmud: Kiddushin 12:2
Did You Know?
Of the main tributaries to the Jordan River, only one - the Dan Spring - lies within Israel's pre-1967 boundaries. The Banyas Springs are in the Golan Heights and the Hasbani Spring is in Lebanon.
Mideast Green News
Special Issue on Water, continued – This Week in PalestineTwo additional articles from “This Week in Palestine” special issue on water, supplementing the previous 10 postings from...
Water Wars: Examining the Israeli Water Policy in the Occupied Palestinian Territories – This Week in PalestineBy: Lamya Hussain Tensions over water have continuously been a feature of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian...
Water in the Village, or Is that No Water in the Village? – This Week in PalestineBy: Maria C. Khoury It is almost a miracle when you manage to make beer without a guarantee...
The Water of Life – Not in Palestine: A KAIROS PerspectiveBy: Hind Khoury Palestine lies in a desert area of the world and historically has been a parched...
The Establishment of the Water Sector Regulatory Council – This Week in Palestinepdf download at http://thisweekinpalestine.com/the-establishment-of-the-water-sector-regulatory-council/ has important tables not in this version. The Establishment of the Water Sector Regulatory...
|Home | Site Map | Social Media | Search | Privacy | Terms | Nondiscrimination | FAQ | Ethics | Links | Schwag | Contact | Donate|
Aytzim (Green Zionist Alliance, Inc.) is classified by the IRS as a tax-exempt nonprofit organization under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3).
|Aytzim.org is a carbon-neutral website hosted by DreamHost and is best viewed in Firefox.|
Aytzim™, Ecological Judaism™, Jewcology™, Shomrei Breishit™, Rabbis and Cantos for the Earth™, Green Zionist Alliance™, The Grassroots Campaign for a Sustainable Israel™, Green Zionism™, Green Israel™ and Green Israel Summit™ are trademarks of Aytzim.
Copyright © 2016 Aytzim and its respective contributors. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without written permission. No quotes may be used in any media without attribution Aytzim. The opinions expressed and those of the authors do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Aytzim, its staff or lay leaders.