N Haruvy and S Shalhevet

Water Freedom System

Survive Global Water Shortages

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1 Netanya Academic College, Netanya, Israel

2 SustainEcon, Brookline, MA, USA

Abstract. The disaster risk from groundwater contamination in Israel has been increasing due to continuous over-pumping as well as urban, industrial and agricultural activities. This risk can be reduced by making changes in water pumping policies and by higher level treatment of wastewater. However, these changes are expensive, and their specific effects on groundwater salinity depend on the local hydrological conditions. We have developed a water management model that enables optimal planning of water supply from different sources and treatment levels by water source. The model includes regional planning, hydrological, technological and economic considerations, and was applied on several different hydrological cells in Israel, with the aim of choosing the optimal policy that would minimize the disaster risk of groundwater contamination at the lowest economic cost possible.

The hydrological model predicts the level of groundwater salinity under different water supply combinations. The combined multi-disciplinary model shows the required salinity threshold level for freshwater supply from different sources and for irrigation with wastewater that is needed to remain below the threshold level of groundwater salinity, as well as the economic costs involved. These results were examined for various scenarios of salinity thresholds for urban water supply, irrigation, and groundwater recharge, under different water management policies.

Keywords: Groundwater, wastewater, modelling, hydrological model, economic model

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