2003 Seattle Annual Meeting (November 2–5, 2003)
Paper No. 67-9
Presentation Time: 10:45 AM-11:00 AM


VENGOSH, Avner1, WEINTHAL, Erika2, MARIE, Amer3, GUTIERREZ, Alexis4, and KLOPPMANN, Wolfram4, (1) Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Ben Gurion Univ, PO Box 653, Beer Sheva, 84105, avnerv@bgumail.bgu.ac.il, (2) Department of Political Science, Tel Aviv University, PO Box 39040, Tel Aviv, 69978, (3) Department of Applied Earth and Environmental Sciences, Al Quds University, P.O.Box 89, East Jerusalem, 69978, (4) Water Department, BRGM, 3 avenue C. Guillemin, BP 6009, Orleans cedex 2, F-45060

Israel and the Palestinian Authority share the southern Mediterranean Coastal aquifer. Long-term over-exploitation in the Gaza Strip has resulted in a decreasing water table and accelerated degradation of the water quality. Due to high levels of salinity, nitrate and boron pollution, most of the groundwater is currently inadequate for both domestic and agriculture consumption. The rapid rate of population growth in the Gaza Strip and the dependence on groundwater as a single water source presents a serious challenge for future political stability and economic development. Here, we integrate the results of geochemical studies and numerical modeling in order to postulate different management scenarios for joint management between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The chemical and isotopic data show that most of the salinity phenomena in the Gaza Strip is derived from the natural flow of saline groundwater from Israel towards the Gaza Strip. As a result, the southern Coastal aquifer does not resemble a classic “upstream-down-stream” dispute because Israel’s pumping of the saline groundwater reduces the salinization rates of groundwater in the Gaza Strip. Simulation of the different pumping scenarios using a mono-layer hydrodynamic 2-dimension model (MARTHE) confirms the hypothesis that increasing pumping along the Gaza Strip border combined with moderate reduction of pumping within the Gaza Strip would improve the water quality of groundwater within the Gaza Strip. We posit that pumping the saline groundwater as a source for reverse osmosis desalination and then supplying the desalinated water to the Gaza Strip should be an essential component of a future joint management strategy between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

2003 Seattle Annual Meeting (November 2–5, 2003)
Session No. 67
Groundwater and Watershed Analysis Across Political Boundaries
Washington State Convention and Trade Center: 609
8:00 AM-12:00 PM, Monday, November 3, 2003

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 35, No. 6, September 2003, p. 198

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