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UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft (2019)

Evaluating criteria for water allocation in closed or closing basins : Case study of Litani River Basin - Lebanon

Matar, Amani

Titre : Evaluating criteria for water allocation in closed or closing basins : Case study of Litani River Basin - Lebanon

Auteur : Matar, Amani

Université de soutenance : UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2019

Water scarcity is increasing globally. Population growth and socio-economic development have been significantly contributing to jeopardizing the integrity of the water system. In order to address water scarcity issues, water allocation modelling is being adopted by different global parties as a process to help allocate water resources between conflicting water users. This research focuses on the Litani River Basin (LRB), Lebanon, as a case study to evaluate the allocation of scarce water resources between different users and sectors. A detailed review of the literature along with interviews identified a list of criteria and indicators that can be used to evaluate water allocation scenarios taking into account the Litani River Basin context and linking to the water allocation principles of social equity, environmental sustainability and economic efficiency. These indicator varied from assessing environmental flows, water quality, unmet demands and reliability as well as evaluation of cost and benefits of different allocation plans. A WEAP model was set up for the LRB, which was based on the available data, and different scenarios were simulated. These scenarios consist of a baseline scenario defining the current allocation, a scenario accounting for the planned developments in the basin (additional water transfers), a sensitivity case scenario (accounting for lower river discharge and higher irrigation demand due to climate change effects) and a scenario considering defined actions management approaches (decrease in the irrigation water requirement) that was based on the proposal of the National Water Sector Strategy, 2012. Each of the proposed scenarios was assessed based on the selected indicators for this research which were the unmet demand and the reliability. The results showed the impact of the different scenarios on the water users based on the selected indicators. It was assessed that the planned developments will have a main impact on the current water users as well as on the operation of the Canal 900 phase 2 and 3. The Canal 900 phase 2 and 3 project mainly aims to have a better reliability of supply for irrigation within the basin since it will be dependent on the dam ; however, if it is to be operated with the other diversion the reliability was found to be very low. As for the sensitivity case scenario, the results showed a major impact on increasing the unmet demand. The last scenario was based on the application of better irrigation efficiency and a reduction by around 40 % in the unmet demands for the different users compared to the baseline scenario. Finally, this research aimed to assess the impacts of different possible scenarios on the water users in the basin. This can be starting point to having an approach to address critical issues in a more integrated and holistic way.

Mots Clés  : water allocation water scarcity water resources management river basins Lebanon


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