A group of Israeli, Palestinian and French scientists have proposed apossible management solution to ameliorate the water quality crisisdepriving residents of drinkable water in the Gaza Strip. The study ispublished in the September-October 2005 issue of the journal Ground Water. This special theme issue contains 14 papers on transboundary ground water.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority share the SouthernMediterranean Coastal Aquifer. The long-term over-exploitation in theGaza Strip has resulted in a declining water table, accompanied by thedegradation of water quality.
According to the researchers, the proposed management planwould provide a win-win situation for both Israelis and Palestinians,but requires cooperation between the two parties. The plan is a uniquethree phase effort among the researchers as a part of the EuropeanUnion Fifth Framework Program. The first step involved investigatingsources of salinity and contamination patterns in the area. Second,models were used to simulate the different water flow patterns alongthe border between Israel and the Gaza Strip. The third level of theproject provided management scenarios tested by mathematical models.
"At present, the ground water in the Gaza Strip is the onlysource of water for its rapidly growing population, which is currentlyover one million, yet is unsuitable for drinking by any internationalstandard, owing to high levels of salinity, nitrate, and boronpollution," state the authors. "The supply of good quality drinkingwater is vital for the future of the Gaza Strip and stability in theMiddle East. Lack of adequate drinking water in the Gaza Strip mighthinder future peace negotiations in the region."
This study is published in the September-October issue of Ground Water.
About the Corresponding Authors
Avner Vengosh is anassociate professor in the Department of Geological and EnvironmentalSciences at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and an associateprofessor in the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciencesat Duke University. Currently, Dr. Vengosh is working on salinity andradioactivity in ground water in Israel and Jordan.
Erika Weinthal is an associate professor of political science atTel Aviv University and an associate professor in the Nicholas Schoolof the Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke University. Her currentresearch concerns the role of energy development strategies in theCaspian basin and their impact upon political and institutionaldevelopment.
About the Journal
Ground Water is the leading international journal focused exclusivelyon ground water. Since 1963, Ground Water has published a dynamic mixof papers on topics related to ground water including ground water flowand well hydraulics, hydrogeochemistry and contaminant hydrogeology,application of geophysics, groundwater management and policy, andhistory of ground water hydrology.
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