Within the framework of the Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED) project, conducted under the Center for Research on Sustainable Development (CROSD) at Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU), a team at the Faculty of Engineering (FE), comprising of Dr. Jacques Harb, Dean and Professor, Dr. Claudette Hajj and Ms. Sawsan Sleiman, Lab Instructors, and Mr. Elie Lahoud, Lab Technician, successfully carried out an analysis of water quality in the Al Assi and Al Ghadir rivers. The team collected water samples from 16 different locations and examined their quality in terms of chemical, bacteriological, and physical contamination through the assessment of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), coliform, ammonia, and nitrate, among other parameters. The team also performed a variation analysis to understand the factors affecting these parameters, and compiled a comprehensive report that includes recommendations for improving water quality.
Additionally, Hajj and Sleiman delivered waterwise sessions throughout Lebanon as part of the project. They participated in various workshops aimed at disseminating the project’s results and raising awareness about the importance of water conservation within the scope of Al Ghadir and Al Assi’s river basin management plan.
One of the aforementioned workshops was ACTED’s Al Ghadir River Basin Workshop. Harb and Hajj participated in the event, in which the latter presented the results of studies conducted in collaboration with the Bureau Technique pour le Développement (BTD) and the National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS) to representatives from municipalities, ministries, civil society, NGOs, and to water experts.
The presentation focused on the method through which NDU’s water experts collected samples from several points along Al Ghadir river to check water quality and pollution levels in Aramel, Wadi Shahrour, Tiro, Kfarshima, Geyser Zuaiter, and the airport outlets. The knowledge and insights gained from these studies formed the foundation for a concrete action plan to protect the basin moving forward.
The results of the sampling campaign and stakeholder consultations, together with a review of 20 years of data collected with the support of the CNRS, will allow the development of a water balance model detailing potential scenarios for the basin until 2035. The result will serve as a platform for all stakeholders to exchange knowledge, ideas, and best practices as opportunities associated with the implementation of the plan.