The Impacts of Climate Change and Human Activities on Water Resources Availability in the Orontes Watershed: Case of the Ghab Region in Syria

Sara Hamade, Charles Tabet



The Ghab region in Syria is considered as the most fertile region in the Orontes watershed. However, the land fertility and the increase of population, as well as the climatic variations, urged the farmers in this region to intensify the agricultural development. The geology and tectonics of the Ghab Region dominated by the Dead Sea Transform Fault (DSTF) have an important impact on the water resources of the Orontes Basin. From the analysis of climate change and the evaluation of uncontrollable behavior of human activities (drilling illegal water wells at random), as well as the hydrographic variations of Orontes river in the study area, the authors have insisted on the fact that groundwater aquifers are over-exploited along the Ghab region to satisfy the needs of irrigation and agricultural development. The scarcity of water and the decrease in springs discharge is well noticed during the autumn, when the precipitation is almost absent, which reduces the discharge of the Orontes River in the Ghab region, especially downstream at Jesr al Shoghour.


Keywords: Orontes watershed; Ghab Region; tectonics; overexploitation of groundwater