IGRAC and TU Delft organised a workshop on 'Water Harvesting and Managed Aquifer Recharge: international state of the art and needed research in Palestine' on 26 and 27 October 2015 in Delft, the Netherlands. This workshop was organised with support of Acacia Water, UNESCO-IHE and Waternet and IGRAC's main role was to share its experience and expertise with regards to MAR. The workshop was held withing the framework of the PADUCO programme.
After a warm welcome by facilitator Ebel Smidt, Senior Advisor of Acacia Water and The World Bank Albert Tuinhof gave an interesting presentation of case studies around the world regarding Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) and Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR). He gave some regional examples from Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Netherlands and Kenia with regards to planning and implementation, financing, impacts, benefits and challenges.
Then IGRAC Researcher Nienke Ansems gave a brief introduction on IGRAC and its activities in relation to transboundary groundwater, groundwater monitoring, groundwater governance and the development of the Global Groundwater Information System (GGIS). After this introduction she gave a more detailed presentation on the MAR assessment that IGRAC has done within the IGAD MAR project in Kenya, earlier this year. The main focus was on mapping showing applicabillity locations.
After the presentation of Nienke Ansems, Ebel Smidt gave an introduction on MAR and RWH leading up to the discussion regarding the focus of the national groundwater model, perhaps in specific geographic locations or as a whole (West bank) area. Also the potential use of satellite images to obtain the water productivity of the whole area as an example of data input of the national model has been discussed. In addition, the discussed how climate change or climate variability could be included or how they can affect the creation of this national model and a better management system for surface and groundwater.
Water scarcity is a major problem in the West Bank and, even more so, in the Gaza strip. The water resources are under increasing water stress due to a combination of factors, such as increasing demand, economic development, population growth, climate change, and water pollution from untreated waste water. The water sector should therefore be well adapted to the challenges ahead.
The overall objective of the programme is to improve the individual, organizational and institutional capacity of the Palestinian higher education sector in the area of water. This will, on the mid- and the longer term, contribute to the effectiveness of the Palestinian water sector regarding the development, provision and management of water resources and services, reduce dependencies on donors and external funding. Additionally, applied short-term research contributes directly to knowledge gaps in the water sector, and projects are specifically designed to address the real needs of the agricultural and water sector.