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CLIMB Case Study: Gaza Site, Palestine. Prof. Dr. Samir Afifi Islamic University of Gaza (IUG) CASE STUDY GAZA SITE: GEOGRAPHICAL OVERVIEW. FOCCUS OF THIS CASE STUDY ON WATER. Current water issues:

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Case study process

CLIMB Case Study:Gaza Site, Palestine

Prof. Dr. Samir Afifi

Islamic University of Gaza (IUG)



  • Current water issues:

  • Fresh water is a scarce resource in Gaza with overexploitation and seawater Intrusion

  • Groundwater is the only current resource in use and is not enough to meet the current and/ or future demands.

  • Due To The Tremendous Population Increase, The Water Demand Increases Sharply .

  • Anthropogenic Contamination & Quality Issues mainly Nitrate and Biological

  • Therefore a sustainable management policy of available and renewable water resources together with developing new water resources are top priority

Gaza Strip with 1.6 million inhabitants located on the coastal area of the Mediterranean sea. The climate of the Gaza Strip is traditionally described as ‘Mediterranean’, which is characterized by winter rain and summer drought. Despite its small area (365km2) and generally flat terrain, there are also significant variations in Gaza‘s temperate climate: the amount of rainfall in the last two seasons is less than the historical average rainfall; it reached 262 mm and 316 mm (2007/2008 and 2008/2009 agricultural season) compared to an average historical yearly rainfall of 358.5 mm.


  • The climate vulnerability of residents of Gaza is yet further compounded by the expected environmental impacts of climate change. A higher variability in precipitation translates into reduced yields for rainfed agriculture, and could also mean a greater frequency of flash floods. Reduced amounts of precipitation will mean greater strain on the over-strained groundwater resources. Expected increase in temperatures may also lead to greater groundwater pumping because of increased desertification, particularly in the south. The major exposures anticipated can be summarized by sector as follows.

  • Water

  • Increased water shortages from lower rainfall and higher evaporation

  • Increased storm water flooding from greater rainfall variability

  • Insufficient rain to recharge aquifers.

  • Reduced surface and groundwater quality.

  • Lower supply of water from Israel.

  • Agriculture

  • More frequent droughts and increased desertification.

  • Changes in economic viability of crops (e.g. shorter growing seasons)

  • Increased crop water requirements

  • Decline in grazing ranges and stocks

  • Higher food prices.

  • Overall Water Demand in Gaza until the Year 2020

  • Coastal management (Gaza)

  • Saline intrusion into the Coastal Aquifer.

  • Land use impacts from sea-level rise and coastal erosion.

  • Soil degradation.

  • Loss of biodiversity

  • Gaza experiences hot, dry summers and mild winters. There is already some evidence that global warming is affecting Gaza: an analysis of daily temperature data from 1976 to 2008 has shown an increase in mean temperature of 0.4C, which reflects above all an upward trend in minimum temperature values. These changes are expected to have strong impacts on the management of water resources, agricultural productivity and drinking water supply.

  • The Gaza landscape is already experiencing and expecting a broad range of natural and man-made threats to water security, such as:

    • severe droughts

    • extreme flooding

    • salinization of coastal aquifers

    • degradation of fertile soils

    • desertification due to poor and unsustainable management practices


CLIMB is aiming to employ and integrate in a new conceptual framework. Within Gaza site, the work will focus on:

  • remote sensing analyses and retrievals

  • climate models auditing and downscaling

  • Integrated hydrologic modeling

  • socioeconomic factor assessment

  • The focal point of the activities of Gaza site is the improving the Gaza aquifer balance, (abstraction and recharge). Gaza case study will have the following WPs:

    • WP 0: Scientific synergies and policy outreach through coordinating with the Palestinian Hydrology Group (PHG), the CLICO partner in West Bank- Palestine.

    • WP 2: Geo-data management through updating the geo-database and the geo information system in cooperation with the related local institutions.

    • WP 3: Study Site Characterization and Monitoring through collecting the data on Topography, Soil Data, Land use and land Cover, Agro-meteorological indicators, Climate Data, Weather information, Socio economic information as well as the field analytical sampling.

    • WP 4: Climate Models Auditing and Downscaling to implement the strategic climate change plan in Palestinian Authority.


    • The CLIMB consortium comprises a total of 19 partners from four European Member States (Italy, Austria, Germany, and France), four SICA countries (Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt, Palestinian-administered areas) and one non EU member country (Canada).

    • Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany

    • Centre national du Machinisme Agricole, du Genie Rural, des Eaux et des Forets Cemagref – France.

    • Centro di Ricerca, Sviluppo e Studi Superiori in Sardegna (CRS4) – Italy

    • Forschungszentrum Juelich GmbH Jülich –Germany

    • Joanneum Research Forschungsgesellschaft mbH Joanneum Austria

    WP 5: Integrated Hydrological Modeling through using the changes in climate, land use and water demand on groundwater resources, by means of large-scale 3D subsurface hydrological modeling. The IUG in cooperation with CRS4 will develop the conceptual model of the experimental site in Gaza.

    WP 7: Interaction with Stakeholders and Dissemination through communicating with the relevant stakeholders (Academic, NGOs, Governmental and international organization) to ensure dissemination of achieved results and for future support and implementations of outcome results


    • Several Palestinian Institutions are participating in this case study which are:

    • Governmental Institutions: Environmental Quality Authority, Ministry of Agriculture, Palestinian Water Authority and Ministry of Transportation (Metrological Stations)

    • Non Governmental Organizations: Palestinaij Hydrology Group (PHG)

    • Service Provider: Coatal Municipal water Utility

    • International Organization: United national Development Program (UNDP)

    • Municipalities and Local Authorities

    • Acadimic Institutions: Universities and research centers.