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Water Resources of Lebanon

livre Jul 2020 ; 229 pages ; prix indicatif: 75€
Aut. Amin Shaban
Ed. Springer - Berlin ; Isbn: 978-3-030-48717-1
Téléchargeable sous format: PdF (10 830 ko)
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First comprehensive book on all water resources in Lebanon covering the entire country.
Includes separate chapters on each water-related theme.
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.
Chapter 1. Introduction
Water resources in the Middle East Region, where they are scarce, is a matter of utmost significance. However, it must be made clear that Lebanon has a diverse topography that makes it with different physical setting from the surrounding regions in the Middle East. Even though, Lebanon has a small area (10,452 km2), yet it encompasses different aspects of water resources whether on surface including rivers, springs, snow and lakes; and sub-surface where a number of aquiferous rock formations and karstic conduits exist with considerable amounts of water. Nevertheless, there is still complain about water supply/demand. The country becomes under water stress and suffering from water shortage. Meanwhile, creditable estimations on water resources are still inadequate. Recently, challenges on water resources have been exacerbated including the population growth and the increased water demand, plus the changing climatic conditions. The existing management approaches done by the governmental sector are few enough to adapt water sector to these challenges. Thus, managing the demand of water in Lebanon is substantially adopted by the individuals rather than the public sector itself. This chapter will introduce an overview on the Lebanon’s territory, then it will illustrate different measurements on water resources including mainly water availability, demand and supply. In addition, an inventory on the previous obtained studies will be mentioned.
Amin Shaban
Chapter 2. Atmospheric Regime and Terrain Characteristics
Usually the regime of the atmosphere, including mainly the precipitation and temperature, controls the volume of water. While the characteristics of terrain, including surface and sub-surface properties govern water flow and storage. These two physical pillars must be primarily identified in order to reach optimal water resources assessment. Hence, the relatively humid climate is interlinked with the rugged topography and both govern water discharge, including water flow energy, accumulation, and infiltration, storage in the substratum and even in water loss to the sea. Therefore, the atmospheric regime and the characteristics of a terrain are principal generators for the entire water cycle like the case in Lebanon. The climate of Lebanon is known by wet periods that are pronounced by the rainfall and the snow cover for a considerable number of months over the year. Besides, the terrain has different responding features. This implies accelerating surface water flow and regular water infiltration among the rock masses, as well as the chaotic groundwater flow into the karstic conduits. This chapter illustrates the major atmospheric variables and the terrain characteristics-induced water resources for the entire Lebanon.
Amin Shaban
Chapter 3. Rivers
When Lebanon is described as the country with plenty water resources, this is usually inspired from the remarkable number of rivers spread on its territory. Even though, the Lebanese rivers are with small dimensions; however, it can be said that there is one river in each 750 km2. The most creditable estimation of the discharge from these rivers is about 2800 million m3 per year, which constitutes a substantial part of the water balance in Lebanon. Less than 15% of this amount is exploited and the rest is either lost to sea or shared with the neighboring countries. Other than the domestic uses, rivers’ water in Lebanon is used mainly for agriculture. Lebanon rivers are also used for hydro-power generation where is contributes to about 10% of electricity needs for the entire country. The discharge from the Lebanese rivers is sharply decreased and some rivers lost more than 60% of its average annual discharge. This can be attributed either to the direct abstraction from these rivers or pumping form groundwater reservoirs. In addition, the changing hydrologic regimes of the terrain surface plays a major role in controlling the amount of water in rivers. This chapter reveals a detailed discussion on Lebanese rivers including their watersheds, and even those for the major streams as well as the related geometric measures. This is also accompanied with quantitative estimations on the amounts of water in the Lebanese rivers.
Amin Shaban
Chapter 4. Springs
A major aspect of water resources, springs are widespread in Lebanon, and they are characterized by different hydrogeological mechanism, and thus by diverse flow rate and regime. The natural setting of Lebanon with its complicated geology, and more certainly the dominant rock deformations that interrupt the lithostratigarphic sequence, gives a chance for groundwater to seep on terrain surfaces as surface water flow. As per their hydrogeological linkage, it is not precise to distinguish water in springs from those in rivers and groundwater, yet these springs occupy an essential part of water budget in Lebanon and they discharge considerable water volume estimated at about 1410 million m3/year, which is equivalent to about 36% of rivers’ water. There are about 1800–2000 major springs in Lebanon, which are attributed mainly to karstic and fault springs type. The largest part of them is considered as the primary source of water for rivers, and all rivers in Lebanon are substantially fed from springs where, in many instances, one or two springs fulfill the stream flow all year long in these rivers. The majority of water in these springs is derived from snowmelt that accumulated on the mountainous regions of Lebanon (Shaban 2003). This chapter will give a detailed discussion on the springs of Lebanon including their lithostratigraphy and rock structures controls as well as the discharge regime for springs locate on terrestrial environment an even those off-shore.
Amin Shaban
Chapter 5. Snow Cover
Among many features of water resources in Lebanon, snow is still the principal resource which has a significant role in the replenishment of rivers, springs and groundwater reservoirs. Therefore, without snow, Lebanon will lose the largest part of its water, which can be estimated to more than 60%. Recently, the exacerbated challenges on water supply makes it necessary to give concerns to snow cover and its accumulation/melting regime. This must be normal since several studies in Lebanon pointed out that snow shares to 50–60% of the water volume in rivers and springs, and then in feeding groundwater aquifers. For this reason, recent researches and studies have been applied; in particular for monitoring snow cover, field investigations, modeling and the interact with climate change. However, data analysis is still a crucial matter for research. Therefore, remote sensing techniques in combination with the advanced ground measuring stations have been utilized. This chapter will present a detailed discussion on snow cover in Lebanon depending on several research studies obtained by the author. Most of these studies utilized many types of satellite images with diverse spatial and temporal resolution. In addition, field investigations to determine snow density, depth and its relationship to different topographic and geologic features were studied. These are mostly the first of their type applied in Lebanon.
Amin Shaban
Chapter 6. Lakes and Reservoirs
Artificial storage of surface water is a common hydrologic feature that is often observed in many arid and even humid regions. This can be also found naturally where water is accumulated by the existing terrain features. It is also widespread as an engineering implementation whereas many types of constructions are established to collect surface water. However, in both cases, this aspect of surface water resource usually contributes substantially in the water budget. Lakes and reservoirs are well known in Lebanon, where they are located in different geographic regions with remarkable existence in the mountainous ones. There are several aspects of man-made water storage which are principally governed by the topography and geology of the terrine. This water harvesting approach is adopted either on the individual or national levels. Thus, the volume of surface water storage in Lebanon has been estimated at 475 million m3/year (Shaban, Hamzé. Shared water resources of Lebanon, Nova Publishing, New York, p 150, 2017). This is theoretically contributes to about 110 m3/capita/year. Even though, man-made surface water storage is important for Lebanon in order to reduce surface water lose, yet there is a debate about the construction of dams. This remains a result of the lack to knowledge for the hydrological concepts. This chapter will introduce a detailed discussion and in-formation about surface water storage, artificial and man-made, in Lebanon in order to clearly provide its feasibility as a supporting water resources.
Amin Shaban
Chapter 7. Wetlands
The occurrence of water bodies on terrain surfaces have different aspects. Thus, some of them permanently occur all year long and then they are described with define names (e.g. lake, river, etc.). However, there are, sometimes, water bodies immerse terrain surfaces intermittently and usually these bodies do not comprise a specific shape or dimension; therefore, lands where these bodies occur are described as wetlands. Lebanon, the region with relatively humid climate, encompasses a number of wetlands that spread on diverse geographic locations, and they are controlled by different hydrogeological conditions. Yet, there is no define number of wetlands in Lebanon, notably that they usually immerse terrain surfaces with irregular shapes and with different water amounts; this is in addition to the relative dimensions which often make it difficult to decide whether these are wetland or not. Moreover, the existing climatic conditions and the rapid population increase accompanied with chaotic water abstraction affected the mechanism of feeding for most of the known wetlands in Lebanon (Shaban et al. Assessment of coastal wetlands in Lebanon. In: Moran G (ed) Coastal zones: management, assessment and current challenges. Nova Science Publishers, Inc, New York, pp 27–97. ISBN:978-1-63485-611-9, 2016). There are four wetlands that were designated in the RAMSAR list. Nevertheless, the hydrogeological settings of these wetlands have not been determined yet. This chapter will present a detailed explanation on the wetlands in Lebanon and their hydrogeological interrelation; in addition to a case-study for a major wetlands in Lebanon.
Chapter 8. Groundwater
There are seventeen rock formations exposed in Lebanon. Thus, matching the precipitated water with the geological characteristics of Lebanon created typical hydrogeological sequence where permeable and porous rocks are interbedded with rock of diverse properties and then resulting a number of groundwater reservoirs and the aquiferous rock formations. There are contradictory estimations for the volume of the renewable groundwater in Lebanon. It ranges between 0.5 and 4.84 billion m3/year, besides 3.65 billion m3 in rivers and springs, but it must be clear that this groundwater volume is interrelated with those in rivers and springs and cannot be hydro-logically separated. Apart from the problem of groundwater flow into the sea as invisible rivers; yet, the groundwater resources in Lebanon are severely exhausted and the uncontrolled pumping became widespread. This added negative impact on groundwater re-sources which often found with high contamination rate. Still, the investment of groundwater does not follow scientifically-based approaches whether to explore potential reservoirs or to pump water from zones with no impact on other water resources. This chapter will present a detailed discussion on groundwater resources of Lebanon including mainly aquifer characteristics and their hydraulic properties, plus estimations for water volume and recharge rate in addition, the relationship of groundwater to faults, and then groundwater level and discharge.
Amin Shaban
Chapter 9. Challenges on Water Resources
The concept that Lebanon is characterized by abundant water resources has become an issue of debate. Thus, water supply/demand is always a national problem and water shortage becomes a striking challenge effects several water-related sectors. In Lebanon, the hydrologic regime is not defined yet, while the lack to comprehensive data and records represents one of the principal constraints to identifying the mechanism of the hydrologic system. There are a number of natural and anthropogenic challenges that influence the availability and supply of water resources in Lebanon. From the physical point of view, the climatic variability is the major aspect where the precipitation pattern has been oscillating and it often becomes torrential, while the temperature has been increased at 1.8 °C. The anthropogenic impact has been also exacerbated, and it can be considered with much impact on water resources than the natural challenges. Thus, there is remarkable increase in the population rate estimated at 1.2%; in addition the displaced refugees increased the stress on water supply. Besides, the discharge in rivers and springs has been regressed to more than 50% over the last five decades, and this has been accompanied with a lowering of water table in the major groundwater reservoirs and the pumping rate is also declined to more than 30%. There are many implementations taken to enhance the water sector in Lebanon, but they could not resolve the problem. This chapter will highlight on the existing challenges and how they created stress on surface water and groundwater re-sources in Lebanon.
Amin Shaban
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Chapter 10. Proposed Solutions
“Water in Lebanon is in Jeopardy”. Since the beginning of 1990s the water crisis has been occurred in Lebanon and still continuing. Up to date, no improvement in the water sector can be touched. The discharge in rivers and springs has been significantly decreased, it is also the case for many wetlands and lakes. Groundwater is under depletion with sharp decline in the discharge and the abrupt lowering of water table. Quality deterioration became widespread including a surface and groundwater resources where it reached the bottled water. In the view of this unfavorable situation in water sector in Lebanon, questions are always raised: Why there is such a status? What are the reasons behind it? What are the solutions to alleviate the impact of water crisis in Lebanon? What the outcomes of measures and water policies adopted by the government? The most important question remains: What will happen if this deteriorating situation in continues as it is? Actually, there is no define answers for all these questions, notably it is not determined who should answer on them. There must be clear and practical solutions, based on scientific concepts, to face this situation. This chapter presents proposed solutions which are based on the author’s expertise and observations. Data and information mentioned in this document were used as a background to build the proposed solutions which represent scientific outlines for further actions.

Mots clefs:

eau de surface: rivière, lac (CI) (DT) (OP) , gestion de la ressource en eau (CI) (DT) (OP)

Pays concerné:

Liban (CI) (DT) (OP)


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