Impacts of climate change on water resources:

The expected decrease in precipitation, changes in the rainfall pattern and increase in evapotranspiration will lead to earlier drought occurrence by 15-30 days which will exacerbate the existing water shortage that is already under pressure from urbanization and population growth.

Changes in weather patterns will reduce the total volume of water by 6-8%, shrink snow cover by 40% and increase drought periods
With an increase in 1°C the water will face a reduction of 6% to 8% of the total volume of water resources, while with a warming temperature of 2°C the reduction is estimated to be 12% to 16%.

In addition, climate change will induce a reduction of 40% to 70% of the snow cover with an increase of 2°C - 4°C respectively and a shift of elevation of snow from 1,500m to 1,900m, which will influence the rivers and groundwater recharge and impact the water availability during the summer season. More details available in the Second National Communication report.

Adaptation actions and technologies:

The main adaptation measures of the water sector include 1) the protection of groundwater from salinization in coastal areas; 2) the implementation of water demand side management strategies to reduce water consumption in the domestic, industrial and agriculture sectors; 3) and the development of watershed management plans;

Several initiatives can be implemented in Lebanon to demonstrate the feasibility of alternative sources of water supply such as collecting rainwater from greenhouse tops and from agricultural roads in addition to establishing water users association to manage shared water bodies. Such activities can increase agricultural revenues by USD 4 million USD per year and secure water availability through drought periods. More details available in the Second National Communication report. and the Technology Needs Assessment report.

A pilot project on rainwater harvesting from agricultural greenhouse tops is currently being implemented at the Ministry of Environment in cooperation with UNDP in order to increase water harvesting and reduce the pressure on pumping from the underground water. This is expected to increase water availability during critical months of late summer and early autumn, reduce the risk of salinity in both soil and water, and increase the resilience of crops to prolonged drought and to some fungal outbreaks.