Beqaa Valley (Lebanon)
Strengthening the Lebanese Water and Agriculture Sector
|Acacia Water, Wageningen University and Research
|Litani River Authority, Bekaa Water Establishment, Lebanese Ministry of Energy and Water, Lebanese Ministry of Environment, Green Plan/Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture, Lebanese Agriculture Research Institute, Council for Development and Reconstruction
|Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), World Bank
The Syrian crisis has had serious consequences for Lebanon. More than 1.5 million refugees have found refuge in the country. The Beqaa Valley, in the eastern part of the country, is experiencing a shortage of drinking water and sanitary facilities. Local agriculture is also suffering from drought conditions. It is important to address these challenges and improve service delivery in water and sanitation, improve conditions for agriculture and food production and create employment.
The programme Strengthening the Lebanese Water and Agriculture Sector was designed to bring advanced Dutch expertise to Lebanon to improve the resilience of the water and agriculture sector. The influx of large numbers of refugees resulted in a heavy burden on the country’s resources, institutions and hosting communities. The programme has demonstrated the practical application of advanced knowledge in water utility management, groundwater management, water productivity in agriculture, water monitoring and pollution abatement. To improve groundwater management a demonstration project on Managed Artificial Recharge was designed. To improve water productivity in agriculture, a demonstration project was designed on the use of soil moisture sensors to optimize irrigation practices.
Four greenhouses were constructed to demonstrate innovative agricultural and water efficiency practices. The Litani River Authority was supported with an online water quality monitoring station for the river Litani and water quality monitoring and algae control buoys for Lake Qaraoun. These buoys use an innovative ultrasound technology to reduce algae bloom. The performance of the Bekaa Water Establishment and the Litani River Authority was improved through Water Operator Partnerships with Waternet. The Dutch Expert Facility provided practical advice on the design and installation of waste water treatment installations for a range of industries, showcased Dutch expertise and further introduced the Dutch water sector to Lebanon.
Activities & results
- Water Operator Partnership between the Bekaa Water Establishment and Waternet, with a focus on water governance, brand awareness, tariffing, billing, (asset)management, safety and waste water treatment
- Supply of an online water quality monitoring station in the Litani River and Lake Qaraoun with the Litani River Authority
- In collaboration with the Litani River Authority and the Dutch supplier LG Sonic algae monitoring and ultrasonic algae control instruments were installed in Lake Qaraoun. Half of them are equipped with sensors that monitor the water quality of the lake. These instruments were installed with the aim of combating the large amount of (blue) algae and in doing so making the water suitable for irrigation (read more in the article on ultra-sonic algae control devices and algae monitoring stations installed in Lake Qaraoun, Lebanon and about the official launch of the ultra-sonic algae control devices and algae monitoring stations in Lake Qaraoun, Lebanon)
- Demonstration project on Managed Artificial Recharge of aquifers (read more in the article on water scarcity in Lebanon and the Managed Aquifer Recharge project)
- Demonstration project on the use of soil moisture sensors in irrigation
- Construction of adapted greenhouses
- Solutions on industrial waste water treatment and introducing Dutch companies through the Dutch Expert Facility
- Training and capacity building activities have taken place throughout the programme
- Gender equality in the Lebanese water and agriculture sector has been promoted