The National Plan for Litani River Remediation

  • Talal Darwich
  • Amin Shaban
  • Mouin Hamzé
Part of the Water Science and Technology Library book series (WSTL, volume 85)


Analysis of the state of water-quality deterioration and land degradation in the Litani River Basin (LRB) and the governmental response is elaborated in this chapter. This is based on the projects and programs run in the basin starting from the mid-1990. Results of the assessment showed that the main sources of contamination in the basin imply a chaotic urban expansion with resulting loss of arable lands and pressure on water resources in terms of both quantitative and qualitative aspects. Dumping of domestic sewage into streams caused significant bacteriological contamination. A dangerous disposal of liquid and solid waste, including industrial and municipal waste, was observed, which put an increasing pressure on the chemical contamination of surface waters. The LRB represents the most intensive agricultural areas of the country, and thus poor agricultural practices result in the excess use of chemicals and accumulation of nitrates and soluble pollutants in the soil–water ecosystem. Several national and international projects have been tackling water pollution and ecosystem management of the LRB since the early 1990s as pure scientific interests, non-sustainable follow-up, and use of outputs and tools for the protection and monitoring of water quality in the basin. In 2006, an inter-ministerial committee recommended the elaboration of a business plan to identify the measures and alleviate the pollution in the Litani River and the Qaraaoun Reservoir. In 2012, the Lebanese government established a national multi-ministerial committee for depollution of the watershed led by the Ministry of Environment. The final business plan for combating pollution in the Qaraaoun Reservoir, elaborated by the United Nations Development Program, was adopted in 2013. In 2014, a committee was established to supervise the implementation of a road map for the remediation of the Qaraaoun Reservoir. In 2016, a loan of US$55 million was provided by the World Bank for the implementation of the approved plan.


Liquid wastes Water contamination Streams Governmental control Business plan Water governance 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Council for Scientific ResearchBeirutLebanon

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