This research deals with setting up a GIS and hydrological modeling based approach for sustainable water resources management in the West Bank of Palestine. This water sustainability approach took into consideration the water balance, the social, the economic, the demographic, the environmental, and the institutional components in order to enhance and promote the sustainable development in Palestine, both on the short and long runs. To evaluate the water balance component, a methodology was introduced to create the Water Sustainability Map (WSM). Since the groundwater is currently the only accessible water source by the Palestinians, the WSM is represented by the Aquifer Sustainable Yield (ASY) which is equivalent to the annual renewable recharge of the various aquifer formations in the West Bank. The ASY was determined by integrating the watershed boundaries derived from the Digital Elevation Model (DEM) with the available hydrological and meteorological data by using GIS. This GIS based approach was used to create the rainfall, evapo-transpiration, and runoff coverages by interpolating their values from the measured parameters. The total estimated ASY using this GIS approach was 679.7 MCM/Yr. which constituted the upper limit for the overall water use in all assumed future water demand scenarios. This approach fulfilled the demographic, social, and economic water sustainability components by proposing water demand scenarios for the period from 2005 to 2025 based on the gradual increase of population and their per capita water use, the available water infrastructure, and based on the value of water where priority was given to the household water use. This approach fulfilled the environmental dimension of water sustainability by studying the water quality and identifying the locations with high pollution indicators for various water use purposes and recommending ways to prevent the environmental degradation and groundwater pollution. This approach fulfilled the institutional dimension of water sustainability by reviewing the current institutions dealing with water management and distribution, recommending options to enhance their efficiency, and finally by proposing some options to save additional water in the West Bank.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Civil and Environmental Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





approach, GIS, modeling, sustainability, hydrology, water balance, water supply, water demand scenario, institutional water management, optimal water use