The Effects of Virtual Water Trade on the Future Water Management in Palestine

Discussion Committee: 
Prof. Marwan Haddad / Supervisor
Dr. Maher Abu-Madi / (External Examiner
Dr. Hafez Qadri Shaheen /Internal Examiner
Dr. Numa'n Mizyed / Internal Examiner
Prof. Marwan Haddad / Supervisor
Paradise Talal Hamdi Aslan
Water in Palestine has witnessed a real problem through several years due to a number of factors such as society, economy, climate and politics. For several years, Different methods have been adopted by Palestinians to alleviate water scarcity, but no such method realized the importance of evaluating and managing the water that is used in the production process to produce a specific product, which is called the concept of Virtual Water. The thesis confined to the West Bank governorates, its objectives were to apply the concept of Virtual Water as a new method to manage and alleviate water scarcity. It has quantified the virtual water of main agriculture and livestock products produced locally in the West Bank, and compare the socio-financial feasibility of producing versus importing some agricultural products. Finally it suggests an agricultural plan for the optimal use of water under two expected water scenarios. The basic approach has been to collect data and use it as main input to analytical computer programs; CROPWAT, and EXCEL. The results of thesis show the main produced crops in the West Bank with high virtual water which were tomatoes produced in green houses (750-1300 m3/dunum), Almonds(850-1100 m3/dunum), Dates(850-1500 m3/dunum), Bananas(2000m3/dunum), Citrus(700-1200 m3/dunum), Mangos(1200m3/dunum), Avocados (800-900 m3/dunum), Guavas (800-900 m3/dunum), and Grapes (700-940 m3/dunum), whereas, the crops with low virtual water value were potatoes (250-500 m3/dunum), cauliflower (150-500 m3/dunum), cabbage (200-600 m3/dunum), onion (300-470 m3/dunum), and watermelon (200-400 m3/dunum). Tulkarm and Qalqilia, were the main governorates producing current deficit crops with the least virtual water value comparing to other governorates. In Tulkarm, the least virtual water were, Potatoes, onions, watermelons and oranges, their virtual water was 260, 325.9, 343, and 740.1m3/dunum, respectively. While in Qalqilia the least virtual water were, potatoes, watermelons, oranges, calamondin, and peach, their virtual water was 260, 343, 740.3, 740.3 and 967.6 m3/dunum respectively. In each governorate the production of deficit crops mainly depended on replacing the excess high Virtual water crops with deficit low virtual water crops, whatever the expected cost ranges (0.580 to 0.994) $/m3, and (0.580 to 0.718) $/m3, in Tulkarm and Qalqilia respectively, the replacing had positive effect on the employment rate (one of social aspects), and local production financially was more feasible than importing. The virtual water was estimated for the main live stock bred in several West Bank governorates, Hebron had the least virtual water value in its livestock (calves, dairy cows, goats, and sheep) and their products. The virtual water of live stock does not depend mainly on Palestinian resources only, and most feed simply has been imported. Palestinians only use the available water resources for watering, servicing and sometimes feeding some types with very limited quantities. This thesis has estimated both local virtual water which excludes the virtual water of imported feed and the whole virtual water includes the imported, and focused more on the local one. The results confined to the part of virtual water depends on Palestinian water resource were 2349, 2082, 161, and 128 m3/ton for dairy cows, beef cow, goat, and sheep breeding in Hebron respectively, and 3577, 3500, 2197, and 1973 m3/ton for beef cow meat, carcass, raw skin, and offal respectively, while 606, 89, 370, 358, and 312 m3/ton, for dairy cow carcass, milk, raw skin, meat, and offal respectively. For sheep carcass, offal, and raw skin the results were 211, 126, and 202 respectively, finally for goat meat and raw skin were 277 and 398 respectively. Ramallah used the least virtual water for raising laying hens and their products. The virtual water was 0.15, 10, 13, and29 m3/ ton for hens, eggs, carcass and steak respectively. Hebron, Ramallah and Nablus approximately have the same value of virtual water for broiler chicken, which was 7 and 8 m3/ton for the broiler chicken and its meat respectively. The thesis has concluded that it is important to consider the concept of virtual water besides the socio- financial analysis to assess the present production strategies which in most cases need adjustment, and to improve the future production strategies in order to achieve the best management of water resources and alleviate water scarcity in the West Bank
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