Managed aquifer recharge as an integrated water resource management approach for preventing sea water intrusion in Hazmieh, Beirut area, Lebanon (ACCWaM Pilot Project)

Lebanon, Middle East and North Africa

The coastal aquifer around Beirut area can be characterized by overexploitation, seawater intrusion and hence deteriorating water quality. Reasons are (1) a steadily growing water demand due to population growth and urbanization, (2) a shrinking of the natural groundwater recharge in the watershed area and (3) an increase in surface runoff – in Lebanon presently about 740 MCM per year are flowing unused to the sea (Hoff 2013). The latter two phenomena can be attributed to (1) rapid urban sprawl at the expense of natural landscapes and agricultural land and climate change, causing temperature increase, decline in precipitation, reduction of snow cover etc.

Expected outputs of the Feasibility Study are (1) Available studies and data related to manage aquifer recharge in Lebanon are evaluated; (2) The present impact of sea water intrusion on groundwater quality in the study area is assessed; (3) A remediation process for improving groundwater quality in regard to salinity using an IWRM approach is defined; (4) Implementable measures and techniques for improving groundwater quality in the study area are proposed.

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