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Dead Sea


									                                       Dead Sea

  A Future for the Dead Sea: Options for a More Sustainable Water




ICA3-CT- 2002-10019

Complete Title:

A Future for the Dead Sea: Options for a More Sustainable Water Management

Starting date:


Ending date:


The objectives of this project were to establish the scientific basis for "more sustainable than
today" water management and water-related land management in the Dead Sea basin, and
from this, to develop practical recommendations that can be used for strategic decision-

The study has revealed the intensely political nature of competition for water in the Dead Sea
basin. “Ideal” or rational planning according to a model is dwarfed in significance by a need to
understand the political and social forces at work.
The project has heightened awareness of the motivations of all the people involved in water use:
the consumers as well as those able to determine its redistribution, access and allocation,
physically and through pricing; polluters and regulators of pollution; protectors of ecosystems and
controllers of land use in water gathering territories.
Methods of promoting change are suggested to achieve policies which are both effective and
economic to implement, rather than making recommendations of direct action.
The focus groups reveal reaction to policies imposed from above, lack of trust, resistances,
successes and failures.
The project has explored several methods which are promising for leading people towards a more
sustainable future. Information is important but involvement and recognition of responsibility for
the future of the region are even more fundamental.
The most imminent intervention to secure the future of the Dead Sea is implementation of
the Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance project involving desalination and hydroelectric
Emphasis on reclamation of fresh water should also give added priority to anticipatory measures
which make such reclamation less costly, especially by prevention of pollution of natural waters
and frugality in the use of the reclaimed freshwater.
The research has indicated the high consumption of water in irrigated agriculture is in
competition with water needed for supporting nature. A holistic view is needed before any
regulatory or price mechanisms are put in place to reallocate water between sectors.

Water savings in agriculture must be accompanied by improved efficiency in urban, industrial
and tourism water use. Achievement of sustainable management of the water resources in the
Dead Sea region will require respect for scarcity of water by all.

Sustainable water management, Dead Sea basin, GIS.

Geographic precisions:
The Dead Sea Basin has been affected by the economic and demographic changes of the
last 50 years: a visible symptom for the degradation is that the surface area of the Dead
Sea has shrunk by about 30 %. The proposed research includes both the physical and
social dimensions. The approach is to synthesize the available data, to analyze the
interactions between natural resources and human activities, to project likely development
trajectories and their impacts, and to establish strategic more sustainable development
plans, and from this, to develop practical recommendations that can be used for strategic
decision making.

Countries: Austria, Israel, Palestine, Jordan.

   1.   ARC Systems Research, Austria;
   2.   Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, Israel;
   3.   Applied Research Institute, Palestine;
   4.   EnviroConsult Office, Jordan.
   5.   University of Newcastle, UK
Acronym: SFDs
Complete name: Stock Flow Diagrams
Domain of application: System irrigation.
Description: Systems analysis was used to make conceptual Stock Flow Diagrams (SFDs) for
             use in system integration, Scenario building and spatial synthesis model
             development. Every influence is regarded in the model as being both cause and
             effect and no one factor is responsible for changing the system. The systems
             thinking approach was used for this project to identify relationships and patterns
             between elements making up the water system as a whole. “Causal Loop”
             diagrams were constructed qualitatively to indicate supposed effects and
             influences in the basin.
Status: Operational.

Acronym: ABM
Complete name: Agent Based Models
Domain of application: Simulate land use and water demand patterns.
Status: Operational. This approach provides information which could be useful for local
                      planning authorities and for alerting the public about possible future
                      land-use changes in their own neighbourhoods. This application of ABM
                      to spatial sciences is innovative and allows visualisation of the spatial
                      consequences of decision-making.
                      The modelling revealed shortcomings in the data available and so failed
                      to demonstrate the potential of ABM which has been used elsewhere for
                      modeling more detailed behaviour of different ethnicities, gender or
                      religious groups.

Acronym: GIS-database
Complete name: GIS-database
Domain of application: Current and projected water supply and demand sectors.
Description: A GIS-database was established that contains 168 data sets with harmonized and
             comparable physical, economic and social data, including consistent sets of maps
             that document the spatial dimension of current and projected water supply and
             demand sectors, and of land use patterns that drive water supply and demand
Status: This database is operational.

Dr Rudolf Orthofer
Austrian Research Centers, Environmental Planning Unit
TechGate, Donau-City-Straße 1, A-1220 Vienna, Austria
Tel: +43-50550-4588
Fax: +43-50550-4599

Dr. Clive Lipchin
Arava Institute for Environmental Studies
P.O.Box 11, Kibbutz Ketura, Hevel Eilot 88846, Israel
Tel: +972-8-635.6394
Fax: +972-8-635.6634

Dr. Isaac Jad
Applied Research Institute Jerusalem
P.O.Box. 860, Caritas Street
Bethlehem, Palestine
Tel: +972-2-274.1889
Fax: +972-2-277.6966

Dr. Daoud Raed
Shmeisani, Salem Al-Hindawi Street, Jude Center,
P.O.Box 941400, Amman 11194, Jordan
Tel: +962-6-569.9769
Fax: +962-6-569.7264

No training was offered.

Dr Rudolf Orthofer
Austrian Research Centers, Environmental Planning Unit
TechGate, Donau-City-Straße 1, A-1220 Vienna, Austria
Tel: +43-50550-4588
Fax: +43-50550-4599


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