Wadi Al-Faras dam design for management and utilization of surface water
Ashraf Aby Hijleh
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The West Bank in general suffers from water shortages due to many reasons, including: Israeli restrictions on water use, increasing of water demand which is related to population growth and last but not least, the limitation of water resources available for use. Enhancing water supplies is essential to improve water availability which contributes in economic development. For that matter, utilizing runoff water is the main concern of our project. Wadi Al-Faraa is the largest watershed in the West Bank which extends among three governorates: Nablus, Tubas and Jericho. It is known to have large amounts of runoff water which are lost in winter. This area has been exposed to landslides and large damages to the fields causing massive losses to the farmers due to floods. In addition, many farmers have been using waste water to irrigate their lands instead of proper irrigation water. All of these reasons combined have brought our attention as engineering students to devote our graduation project to propose a solution for this serious problem, this solution is to build a dam to store runoff water coming from nearby ridges and other places and then use it in many various areas. In addition to hydrological and structural aspects, ecological and long term impacts of the project should considered to ensure that it will be able to satisfy the desired objectives which include: storing runoff water to be used later for irrigation, reduce flooding disasters that may happen due to powerful storms, reduce droughts in dry seasons, reduce soil sliding and in the future, this dam may be used to generate electricity. After Wadi Al-Faraa had been chosen as the project area, relevant data was collected including: topographic maps, rainfall intensities, land use maps, climate data, agricultural practices and available water resources. After that, Wadi Al-Faras watershed was delineated and its physical characteristics were estimated. Then a specified location of the dam was selected, as well as, dam type. Using HEC-RAS, data was analyzed to estimate the volume of runoff water and inflow design flood accordingly. The design of the dam included spillway and outlet, as well as, its structural design were investigated. In addition, a conveyance network to distribute and manage water was designed in order to provide farmers with irrigation water needed in surrounding fields. Although dam projects are very important, theyre not common in the West Bank; the only dam built so far is Aluja dam. However, the Palestinian Water Authority and the Ministry of Agriculture have recognized this importance by considering several options to find a solution for Wadi Al-Faras runoff water problem, one of these options is to build a dam. This has created a motivation for An-Najah National University students to dedicate their efforts to help these authorities.