Study Area

Map of the Wester Aquifer Basin

The primary study area of the MedWater Project is the Western Aquifer Basin (WAB, a.k.a. the Yarkon-Taninim Aquifer) in Israel and the Autonomous Palestinian Territories (Fig. 4). The aquifer, which extends over more than 9000 km2 , is an important water supply source for both Israel and Palestine and has been used intensively since the 1950s. As a result of its importance over this relatively long period, a large set of long-term monitoring data is available for the aquifer, making it a good case study for water management in Mediterranean carbonate aquifers.

In addition to the WAB, a number of other areas have been identified for use as transfer locations to enable the transfer of findings from the WAB to comparable catchments, and vice-versa. These areas, which necessarily have similar conditions and sufficient quantities of available data, include the Alento catchment in southern Italy, and the Lez catchment in France.

Alento catchment

The Alento catchment has been extensively equipped with soil moisture sensors, Cosmic-Ray and climate stations as part of the TERENO-MED program of the German federal ministry for education and research (BMBF). Extensive mapping of land use has been carried out for the catchment, and long-term data sets exist for hydrology, soil types, groundwater recharge, hydrogeology of the aquifers and land-use change.

Data and information for the Lez-catchment in France has been collected as part of a project with BRGM (Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières, France). This area has been intensively managed over the last 20 years for the water supply of Montpellier and for flood control.

Other regions with climates comparable to the Mediterranean include California, south-western South Africa, the central coast in Chile, and parts of West and South Australia and Central Asia.

Lez catchment (Montpellier, France)

It is intended that the results and conclusions of the MedWater project, its study areas and transfer areas, will be applicable to comparable regions worldwide, and will drive forward innovation in managing carbonate aquifers in semi-arid regions. MedWater will enable the transfer of complex models to a supra-regional level using local indicators and globally available remote sensing data. Adaption strategies will be derived that maintain validity in further regions of the world.