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UNESCO-IHE and Delft University of Technology (2009)

From water scarcity to sustainable water use in the West Bank

Dima Wadi’ Nazer

Titre : From water scarcity to sustainable water use in the West Bank,

Auteur : Dima Wadi’ Nazer

Université de soutenance  : UNESCO-IHE and Delft University of Technology

Grade : Doctor 2009

Présentation
The goal of this research is to develop a framework for the sustainable management of water resources in the West Bank. The approach in this thesis is based on the application of Cleaner Production thinking to water management.
To achieve this goal, three objectives were defined. The first objective is to prepare an inventory of the existing water use in the West Bank by determining its water footprint. The second objective is to evaluate options for water management, suitable for the Palestinian social, cultural, religious and economic conditions, now and in the near future, so as to reach water sustainability by 2025. In this context, three case studies demonstrating the feasibility of appropriate water management at the domestic, industrial and agricultural levels were developed. The third objective is to develop a water management strategy for the West Bank that aims at achieving water sustainability by 2025.
A prognosis of the water use in the West Bank was established by preparing a water balance and by calculating the water footprint of the Palestinians in the West Bank. It was found that the consumption component of the water footprint was 1,116 m3 /cap/year, compared to the global average of 1,243 m3 /cap/year. Local water resources provided only 50 m3 /cap/year out of which 16 m3 /cap/year was used for domestic purposes. This later number is only 28% of the global average and 21% of the Israeli domestic water use. Knowing these facts emphasizes the need for the above mentioned shift in thinking to an approach of ‘use, treat and reuse’ instead of the common approach of ‘use and dispose’.
The domestic case study investigated options (rainwater harvesting, dual flush toilets, dry toilets…etc.) for improved domestic water management. These options were financially, environmentally and socially evaluated using Life Cycle Impact Assessment. The main conclusion was that by introducing a combination of water management options in the domestic area, a decrease in the water consumption of up to 50% can be achieved, thereby reducing the pressure on the scarce water resources. In addition to this environmental gain the financial impacts are being reduced. In the social context, it was found that introducing such options can improve the quality of life of those who presently do not have access to sufficient water. In fact, the house of tomorrow can be largely independent in terms of water and sanitation.
The second case study, related to irrigation in the West Bank, aimed at optimizing irrigation water use by using a linear mathematical model. Three scenarios were analyzed : The first scenario presents the existing cropping patterns, the second scenario maximizes profit under water and land availability constraints and the third scenario maximizes profit under constraints of water and land availability and local crops consumption. Results of the study showed that by determining the optimal patterns of the five crops included in the study, under land and water availability constraints, reduced the total agricultural water use by 4% while it can increase the profit in the entire agricultural sector by some 4%. It was concluded that water scarcity can be approached by changing the cropping patterns according to their water use. Moreover, expansion of rain-fed agriculture is key to planning the cropping patterns in water scarce countries.
The industrial case investigated the option of saving water and reducing pollution in the unhairing-liming process of the leather tanning industry. The conclusion was that the industrial process effluent could be reused after receiving the appropriate treatment. By doing so a substantial, up to 58%, reduction in water use can be achieved combined with a reduction in financial and environmental impacts.

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Page publiée le 3 novembre 2013, mise à jour le 29 mai 2022