Background

The Lower Jordan Valley is characterized by extreme water shortage due to its semi-arid climatic conditions, limited water availability and continuously growing water demand. Water contamination, in particular by untreated wastewater, together with inefficient water usage and insufficiently integrated water management contribute to a further deterioration of the water supply situation. The climatic conditions are characterized by extremely high temporal and spatial variability in the available water resources (precipitation, aquifer recharge, flood run-off, spring discharges) and by water demand dynamics where during summer the maximum coincides with the minimal available resources. Particular water management concepts and water technologies adapted to the regional conditions are required in order to match supply with demand. Regional aquifers have a very important role to play here due to their high storage capacity and their function of providing protection against evaporation and contamination. The required joint water management by Israel, Palestine and Jordan is made significantly more difficult by the political situation and also by the complex hydrogeological systems combined with extremely sensitive system dynamics. This IWRM implementation project here applied for builds upon the findings of the SMART I and II projects.

While SMART-MOVE is the main project, a sub-project called SALAM was initiated in addition. While the original SMART-MOVE project stresses the IWRM approach for today in the limits of the Lower Jorday Valley, the SALAM sub-project extents or widens the focus also to the close future by considering other or new water resources in its neighborhood towards a regional water strategy. An overview on the background of SALAM is provided in the respective sub-menue point "SALAM - Background".