Rapid population growth and increasing dominance of Israeli occupation over the Palestinian water and land resources exacerbate the problem of water supply and management. Many of the Palestinian localities suffer from the shortage of domestic and agricultural water mainly during the warm weather; they have a special need for water during the summer months. The water shortage makes everything difficult. Water scarcity can be considered as a major constraint for economic and social development and sustainability of the domestic and agricultural sector in Palestine. There is an urgent need for a remedial action to combat severe water shortage. Rainwater harvesting systems (RWH) will play an important role in creating realistic and sustainable environment in the future. Their use in drinking, domestic and agricultural sectors not only compensates the shortage of water, but also reduces the severe flooding ensued causing widespread damage. In many times, the storm water rose to the first floor level of many houses. In some areas the flooding blocked sewage pipes, causing sewage to overflow and mix with the storm water, polluting local water sources and cultivated fields, contaminating residential homes, and posing a health hazard for the residents. Thus, RWH systems are the focus of this project as it is positioned as a promising and feasible first step towards sustainable water management at the level of household and community. This project will analyze the different aspects of RWH through the development of a Water Harvesting Evaluation Tool (WHEAT) which is a new and extensible sustainability modeling and analysis framework. The data, models, results and developed relations produced in all tasks (i.e. assessment of socio-economic and water related topics at household and community scale and hydrological assessment within the community boundaries and adjacent watersheds) will be integrated in WHEAT. This tool will be used to assess the impact of any intervention on the water sector in the target community including water, economy, and social impacts.

 

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