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Water resources within the Upper Orontes and Litani Basins: a balance, demand and supply analysis amid the Syrian refugees crisis

Increasing refugee populations, industrial demands and agricultural activities have exacerbated water stress in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. We have provided previously unavailable remotely sensed estimates of agricultural water consumption in the Upper Litani and Upper Orontes basins. We also quantified increases in domestic water demand and mapped water stress hotspots. Due to the distinction between demand, use and consumptive use, increased water demand does not have to mean water shortage. Increased consideration of this distinction is crucial for integrated water resources management planning and climate change adaptation.

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Jaafar, H, King-Okumu, C. et al, 2016. Water resources within the Upper Orontes and Litani Basins: a balance, demand and supply analysis amidst Syrian refugees crisis. IIED Working Paper. IIED, London.
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Urbanising regions in drylands often face environmental problems – particularly water stress. When people in these areas are also responding to other crises, such as conflict or refugee flows, it becomes difficult for them to implement long-term solutions. IIED is looking at ways to strengthen resilience in crisis-hit dryland regions, focusing initially on environmental challenges in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley and the arid lands of Kenya.

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Unblocking the cycle of water stress, crises and innovation in drylands