Evaluation of Agricultural Water Management Options in the Lower Jordan Valley – Palestine Using "WEAP"

Discussion Committee: 
Prof. Marwan Haddad/suprvisor
Dr. Hassan Abo Qaoud / Internal Examiner
Dr. Mahmoud Rahil / External Examiner
Prof. Marwan Haddad/suprvisor
Hazem Shuqair
Water is needed in all aspects of life and it is one of the most valuable resources in the world. Agriculture is the largest user of fresh water. In arid and semiarid areas, water resources are limited. Allocation of limited water resources, environmental quality and policies for sustainable water use are highly concerned. Water resource planning and predicting its availability and managing requires the application of a lot of related sciences. Lower Jordan Valley (LJV) is the most important agricultural area in the West Bank (WB). The objective of this research study is to evaluate the best sustainable water management options for future agriculture in the LJV. For this objective 'WEAP" (Water Evaluation and Planning System) was used as a tool. The study area is dominantly a Mediterranean characterized by long, hot, dry summer and short and moderate winter. Its water resources are restricted with groundwater with 42 MCM yearly. Six scenarios were run (optimal water use, optimal land use, supplementary water resources, food security, Poverty and socioeconomic linkage) under three main Political scenarios. Comparing the scenarios and their assumptions and outcomes, it was concluded that one scenario will not lead to optimal water management in agriculture in the LJV and a combination of scenarios would better achieve this goal. Accordingly a combination of the three scenarios (water and land use efficiency and supplementary water resources scenarios) is the best combination to achieve better water management in Palestinian agricultural area in the LJV (under prevailing situation). Other scenarios or water management options will follow and indirectly will be optimized. Full- state scenario is the most suitable and applicable scenario in water and land management. It is clear that with full-state scenario there will be enough water supply for different agricultural activities and for other sectors at least for the near future. It is noteworthy that the findings of this study are general, local, and partial in nature and are considered as local water management solutions for Palestinian agriculture in the LJV suitable for the current or expected other political situations in Palestine. These findings should help Palestinian decision makers either in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Authority, or the Ministry of Planning under the prevailing or predicting conditions.
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