An Evaluation of Water Resources Management in Ramallah District

Posted in 1996 Papers

This study highlight the groundwater resources available in Ramallah district as well as the flow pattern and water quality. There are 16 wells in the study area, five are located in Ein Samia and are owned by Jerusalem Water Undertaking, while 11 wells are owned by Mekorot (two of these, namely Shebtin wells No. 4 and No. 5, are used to provide Palestinians with drinking water through West Bank Water Department). The total number of springs whose average discharge exceeding 0.01 liters/sec is 122. These springs are used by local Palestinian communities in Ramallah district for domestic and low scale irrigation purposes. The total long term average annual flow discharge (1970-1994) of the seven major springs is estimated to be approximately 3.83 MCM which constitutes 90% of the discharge of all springs there. The  study shows that the total water quantity received from Mekorot either purchased and distributed by JWU or distributed through WBWD is 6.5 MCM in 1994. The Palestinian consumption of water in 1994 for domestic and industrial purposes was about 9.8 MCM, only 2.55 MCM was produced locally from Ein Samia well field which the rest was purchased from Mekorot and the Municipality of Jerusalem. In comparison, Israelis are pumping 9.84 MCM/Yr from their wells in Ramallah area. This quantity equals the total water quantities consumed by Palestinians in Ramallah district in 1994. 
Groundwater flow has two main directions, east and west with Upper and Lower Cenomanian exposed aquifers underlying Ramallah district. There are three zones of extensive pumpage (areas where the contours representing equipotential lines become close as pumpage occurred) in the study area. These are:
1. Ein Samia well field whose groundwater flow direction is to the east and southeast.
2. Shebtin well field located in the northwestern part of study area.
3. Israelis wells at Latroun in the northwestern part of Ramallah district neat the no-man area where very extensive pumpage have resulted in reserving the groundwater flow direction to be towards the southeast.
Presentation of the available hydrochemical data on Wilcox diagram reveals that water of Ein Samia wells have medium salinity hazard and low sodium hazard which is suitable for irrigation. External water sources received at Ramallah and Shu'fat connection sites have a higher value of conductivity and are located in the region of high salinity and low sodium hazard. Piper diagram analysis shows that water of Ein Samia wells are earth alkaline with prevailing bicarobnate, while water purchased from Mekorot is earth alkaline with prevailing bicarbonate and increased portion of alkalis.

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