The current report represents the Lebanese case study for the ISIIMM project which is implemented in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Zahle and the Bekaa.
The report is the result of 4 years of data collection, analysis, field visits and survey, expert missions, exchange of experience, etc.
Lebanon is situated in a critical zone marked by a high pressure on water, where the neighbourhood countries are dry with intensive level of evaporation, which induces important water challenges (increasing shortage of water resources, over exploitation and lack of management due to the underdeveloped institutional capacities,…).
The experience of Lebanon in Water Users Association has been very shy. The mission of ISIIMM, especially through the exchange of experience seminars, was to raise the debate on these crucial institutions for local water management and to help farmers to understand the WUA concept and to implement it according to their local situations.
In Lebanon, WUA legislations were set during the French mandate (1918-1943) and were not adapted to the local realities. Such institutions seem to be very important especially that problems facing irrigators become more critical. Farmers are very enthusiastic to such kind of cooperation which represents the main objective of ISIIMM. In addition, the project, in collaboration with many
national and international experts, aimed to prepare a draft legislation which could enhance the promotion and the creation of WUA.
The case study is focusing on two working sites: The South Bekaa Irrigation Scheme irrigated by the Canal 900 from the Qaraoun Lake and managed by the Litani River Authority (LRA) representing the basin agency, and the Khreizat Source Irrigation Scheme, a mountainous traditional canal situated in face of the Canal 900 and irrigating lands in 3 villages in the West Bekaa region: Kherbet Kanafar, Kefraya and Saghbine. In both cases, water is provided to individual farmers because the nonexistence of Water Users Association.
This study is divided into several parts. The first one is focusing on the international approach especially the water conflict in the Middle East region. The second part is giving a general overview of water in Lebanon in its different aspects: geographic, hydraulic, hydrologic, agricultural, institutional, social and legal.
The same aspects mentioned in the second part will be developed in the parts 3 and 4 for the Bekaa valley and the South Bekaa irrigation Scheme as well as the Khreizat Scheme.
The part 5 represents the actions taken and implemented by the ISIIMM team in Lebanon as well as some conclusions and lessons learned from the exchanges made during the 4 years of work.