Follow up of Rio+20 – towards the implementation of the “Zero Net Land Degradation (ZNLD) target"
Convener: Uriel Safriel (email@example.com), Hebrew University of Jerusalem Assisted by: Vivian Futran (Vivian.firstname.lastname@example.org), Ben Gurion University
This theme will be addressed in a whole day session, with three segments:
An introductory segment (to be held in the main auditorium of the conference), presenting the proposed target and reviewing its underlying scientific background
A segment on the scientific and technical implementation challenges
A workshop segment on guidelines for operationalizing the ZNLD target
Given the effective advocacy by the Executive Secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), Mr. Luc Gnacadja, the zero net land degradation (ZNLD) target is emerging as an important objective for the international community. The Rio+20 conference already implicitly addressed this target in its "The Future We Want" outcome document by recognizing in para.206: "the need for urgent action to reverse land degradation. In view of this we will strive to achieve a land-degradation neutral world ...." In setting the ZNLD target the UNCCD stakeholders recognize that the rate of global land degradation cannot be fully arrested, but it can be reduced. The annually added degraded land (and the linked productivity loss) can be offset by restoring the productivity of a similar amount of already degraded land. Once such a target is reached, the amount of currently degraded land would stabilize. The objective of the “Operationalizing the Zero Net Land Degradation (ZNLD) target" session is to lay the foundations to operationalize and implement this target at the global scale.
Operationalizing the ZNLD faces two challenges. The scientific challenge requires answers to questions of detection and quantification of new, incipient degradation. It also calls for better assessment of existing degradation, appraisal of its severity, and the measures required for the subsequent restoration and eventually identifying and characterizing the restored state. In addition, there is a societal challenge which entails addressing policy issues. These include meeting economic and equity requirements that do not lead to land degradation, as well as raising and investing the requisite human and financial resources for the restoration ventures.
Structure of the theme in DDD conference
- Segment 1 – Introductory and Scientific background
The introductory session will include three keynote presentations. First, the Executive Secretary of the UNCCD will present the issue of the ZNLD. His lecture will be followed by two scientists who will each address one of the two components that comprise the ZNLD: how to use land without degrading it, and how to restore already degraded lands. This segment will be chaired by the Director of the Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research.
- Segment 2 – Implementation Challenges
The second segment will be dedicated to learning from persons that have been directly engaged in intensive work addressing land degradation on the ground. These five experts from different countries working in different environments, will address the feasibility and applicability of the ZNLD target based on their knowledge from the field. In doing so, they will explain whether they think it can be operationalized, and how, based on their experience. This segment will be chaired by the former Chairman of the Intersessional Intergovernmental Working Group (IIWG) of the UNCCD.
- Segment 3 – Workshop
The third segment will be a brainstorming workshop chaired by a representative of MASHAV, the Agency for International Development Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel. Two talks will be given to open the segment: one addressing possible obstacles to operationalizing the ZNLD target, and the other on a new tool that can positively contribute to the implementation efforts. These will be followed by an open discussion lead by a moderator. This discussion will facilitate drafting recommendations towards operationalizing the ZNLD. An experienced rapporteur will help document and draft conclusions from the proceedings.
Restoring water resources: practice, research & watershed management
Conveners: Noam Weisbrod (email@example.com) , Shai Arnon (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Department of Environmental Hydrology & Microbiology, The Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research (ZIWR), the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev at Sede Boker
Water is essential for our life and therefore the quality and quantity of our water resources is of upmost importance. This is true everywhere but especially in arid environments where water resources are scarce and vulnerable. In the frame of this topic we are interested in studies in which the quality and/or quantity of water resources is explored, especially in arid environments. Research of interest includes, but not limited to:
- water resources management tools and practices.
-surface water-groundwater interaction and water resources renewal.
- rehabilitation of dryland catchments.
Although studies in all scales are welcome, a special emphasize is given to large scale, watershed, studies.
Terrestrial biome evolution and structure: the implications for their preservation
Convener: Dr. Yoram Ayal (email@example.com)
The Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology
The Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev at Sede
Co-Convener: Dr. Bert Boeken
French Associates Institute for Agriculture and Biotechnology of Drylands
The Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev at Sede Boker
Hot deserts are found at the lower extreme of the terrestrial biomes productivity gradient where tropical forests and temperate forest are found on the upper one. In order to understand the function of the desert we need a general theory on the structure of terrestrial biomes and the relation between productivity and biome’s structure. Currently, there are 3 non-exclusive models explaining this relation, namely (a) a fixed structure (Hairston, Smith et al. 1960) HSS “The green world theory”), (b) an increase in the number of trophic levels with productivity and desert having the lowest productivity has only one trophic level ((Oksanen and Oksanen 2000) and (c) a decreasing number of trophic levels with productivity and deserts have four ((Ayal 2007; Ayal 2011).
These three different theories were developed by scientists working in different biomes, the first working in temperate forest, the second working in grasslands and tundra whereas the third working in deserts. The proposed session will bring representatives of the 3 groups to try to unify the theories and through it understand how terrestrial biomes work and especially arid ones: hot deserts, dry grasslands and cold deserts (tundra). This is essential for understanding how biomes structure will change due to climate change, especially the expected increase in aridity, the way to preserve arid biomes.
■ Ayal, Y. (2007). "Trophic structure and the role of predation in shaping hot desert communities " Journal of Arid Environments 68: 171-187.
■ Ayal, Y. (2011). "Productivity, organism size, and the trophic structure of the major terrestrial biomes." Theoretical Ecology 4: 1-14.
■ Hairston, N. G., F. E. Smith, et al. (1960). "Community structure, population control,and competition." The American Naturalist XCIV(879): 421-425.
■ Oksanen, L. and T. Oksanen (2000). "The logic and realism of the hypothesis of exploitation ecosystems." American Naturalist 155(6): 703-723.
Desertification as a catastrophic regime shift: empirical and mathematical aspects
Convener: Ehud Meron (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research & Physics Department
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Desertification is commonly viewed as a dynamical transition from a productive stable state to an alternative less productive stable state. The transition can be induced by an environmental change or by a disturbance, and becomes feasible near an instability point of the productive state. The session will address mathematical aspects of such transitions, taking into account the possibility of the productive state being spatially patchy. Questions to be addressed include mechanisms of desertification, warning signals for imminent desertification and restoration of decertified areas. The session will also address field observations of vegetation patterns and pattern dynamics, and attempt confronting model predictions with empirical data.
Remote Sensing - Tools And Implications In Drylands
Convener: Arnon Karnieli (email@example.com), Dept. Solar Energy and Environmental Physics, Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel.
Environmental problems of drylands, such as desertification processes, land degradation and rehabilitation, land cover and land use change, climatic change, droughts, early warning, and more, are characterized by both spatial and temporal dimensions. Therefore, remote sensing techniques, based on long-term monitoring and repetitive data, over vast expanses of unsettled regions, are applicative and powerful tools for research and implementation in these areas.
Special sessions on Remote Sensing - Tools And Implications in Drylands will take place as part of the conference to promote scientific exchange between experts who work on remote sensing and geoinformation issues of the above drylands-related aspects with special intention to restoration actions and processes.
Desert Agriculture- Water and energy fluxes from agricultural soils
Conveners: Naftali Lazarovich,(firstname.lastname@example.org), Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel & Alon Ben-Gal (email@example.com), The Agricultural Research Organization, Israel.
One of the biggest unknown variables in desert environments is evaporation from the soil. The session will focus on understanding and measuring evaporative processes with emphasis on agriculture in arid regions. Topics covered will include: evaporation from porous media; separating components of evaporation and transpiration; modeling evaporative processes; evaporation and salinity buildup; novel methods for estimating evaporation, evaporation from heterogeneous soils; methods for minimizing evaporative losses in agriculture.
Architecture and urban planning in drylands and arid areas (Cook Workshop)
Conveners: Isaac Meir (firstname.lastname@example.org) & David Perlmutter (email@example.com), Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
The most marginal communities in developing countries are the ones most severely affected by desertification and the lack of appropriate housing. Developed dryland countries are seriously affected as well, and are forced to address energy shortages, water scarcity and a variety of urban planning challenges associated with the extreme climatic conditions.
The key to successful efforts to overcome and reverse desertification are linked to creating new strategies that will allow for communities in drylands to live in harmony with their arid environments. This includes the establishment of alternative livelihoods – and of course identifying innovative ways of living more sustainably within the demanding desert environments. In developed countries, some 40% of all energy is consumed for heating, cooling, and making buildings habitable. When the energy costs of building construction and materials, on the one hand, and urban transportation, on the other, are added to this basic load, it becomes clear that most of society’s energy use is influenced by architects and planners. The 2012 workshop will therefore be aimed at architects and planners who seek to make buildings in the desert more responsive to the natural conditions, resources availability and, of course, climate. Among the key challenges are providing thermal comfort while reducing energy consumption, and redefining urban form along guiding principles that may be sustainable in the long term.
Application of modern technologies in rangeland research
Conveners: Eli Zaadi (firstname.lastname@example.org) Avi Perevolotsky (email@example.com), The Agricultural Research Organization, Israel
The measurement of states and rates that are central to the functioning of rangelands are critical to research, development, monitoring and management of these systems. Modern technologies can make it possible to measure variables that could not be measured before, or introduce improvements in realms such as cost, ease, functionality, spatial and temporal resolution, accuracy and precision. They may be applied to various aspects of rangeland production systems, including climate, soil, vegetation, animal and management. Modern technologies that have been applied to rangeland research include, but are not limited to, remote sensing, GIS, GPS, spectroscopy, pedometry, acoustics, modeling and geostatistics, decision support systems and web-based applications.
Conveners: Eli Zaadi (firstname.lastname@example.org) Avi Perevolotsky (email@example.com) , The Agricultural Research Organization, Israel
The soil is arguably the most basic resource of a rangeland upon which primary, and in turn secondary, production depends. But important feedbacks exist from primary and secondary production back to the soil. This session focuses on the direct (e.g. trampling, compaction, dung and urine deposition) and indirect (e.g. selective or non-selective consumption of plant material) effects of grazing animals and their management on soils. These effects can be in various realms, examples of which include soil physical and chemical properties, degradation, organic matter content, moisture infiltration, content and retention capacity, respiration, carbon and nitrogen cycling, and the abundance and diversity of soil micro-organisms.
Soil and land restoration
Convener: Uri Minglegrin (firstname.lastname@example.org), The Agricultural Research Organization, Israel
and and Gilboa Arye (email@example.com), Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Israel
This theme includes three aspects:
■ Soil conservation under shifting climatic conditions. The predicted forthcoming climatic shift (Global warming) will have, most likely, a particularly strong effect on semi-arid regions, since a relatively small change in precipitation rate or in frequency and intensity of rain events may make arable land unsuitable for cultivation, if proper actions are not taken. Such actions may include importing water for irrigation from outside the region or taking steps to prevent erosion. Measures needed to be taken if predictions arising from the most commonly considered global warming scenarios come true, to prevent deterioration of soil quality or to restore the land's quality once damaged, will be discussed;
■ Maintaining soil productivity under irrigation with marginal water. Agriculture in arid and semi-arid regions is often supported by irrigation with water of marginal quality. Low quality water, and in particular saline water, may bring about a reduction in the productivity of the irrigated land. Cases of irrigated valleys that turned into salt plateaus are reported periodically from various regions of the globe. Means to prevent deterioration in soil quality and to reclaim deteriorated soils under irrigation with marginal water will be presented;
■ Effect of overgrazing on soil quality and restoration procedures. Overgrazing is one of the most important causes of land deterioration in arid regions. Overgrazing exposes the soil to erosion and increases runoff and flood damages. Cases of overgrazing-induced damage, grazing regimes intended to minimize such damage and protocols to reclaim land damaged by overgrazing will be described and discussed.
Rehabilitation of Desertified Areas Thorough Sustainable Afforestation and Forest Management – Solutions and Success of Long Term
Conveners: Moshe Itzhak (firstname.lastname@example.org) & David Brand (email@example.com), KKL- Israel Forest Services
The session will present long term success case studies that deal with degradation problems. The case studies will demonstrate the experience and efforts of communities and organizations in proper rehabilitation and sustainable management of their natural resources.
In order to reverse or mitigate the effects of land degradation, land management practices will be presented which include: advanced forest management and afforestation, agroforestry, soil and water conservation and the human dimension.
Public health and life in deserts and drylands
Conveners: Nadav Davidovich (firstname.lastname@example.org), Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
and Maya Negev (email@example.com), Tel-Aviv University, Israel
Desertification and life in the desert and drylands are tightly connected to public health. In this theme we are looking especially for the integration of research at the interface between ecological and health sciences. We invite presentations regarding (1) climate change, desertification and life in the desert and health, including changing patterns of infectious diseases, (2) desertification, access to water and water quality, (3) access to energy in the desert and health, including air pollution (indoor and outdoor), and (4) access and barriers to medical services in the desert.
Nomadic people in desert regions: Rethinking citizenship in the 21st Century from the perspective of marginalized nomadic peoples
Convener: Pnina Motzafi-Haller (firstname.lastname@example.org), Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
Different desert and semi-desert regions of the world have long been a stage for troubled relationships between centralized state powers and marginalized nomadic and post-nomadic populations. After more than a century of global democratization and despite an ideology of mass equal citizenship, nomadic people, now sedentarized in many nation-states, seem to be left out of the benefits of universal citizenship and are subjected to impoverishment, dispossession and violence. They face not only persistent effort to control their migration by state powers but also deterritorialization due to increasing urbanization, privatization, and neoliberal policies.
We open this panel for both theoretical and empirical explorations of the relationship between nomadic populations and centralized state powers in diverse societies and cultures in the 21St century. We are particularly interested in applying recent debates about the definition of citizenship in such settings.
Carbon accounting and minimization in rural and dryland environments
Convener: Amit Gross (email@example.com), Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
Elevated carbon emissions among other greenhouse gases have been recognized as a major contributor to global climate change and there is desire by countries to reduce it. This was reinforced at the recent Durban conference. Carbon Footprint quantification analysis and reduction are essential to preventing this change. For example, settlement & landscape design, building design, use of appropriate building materials, enhancing energy efficiency, mitigating carbon emissions by means of green energy and/or compensating for C emissions by carbon offsets preferably within the settlement or village would lead to carbon neutral regions and ultimately to reducing C emissions. This session invites studies that are related to carbon accounting, and minimization in rural and arid environments.
Convener: Orit Ben-Zvi Assaraf (firstname.lastname@example.org) , Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
Noa Avriel-Avni (email@example.com), Dead Sea and Arava Science Center
This theme will address environmental, social-cultural and ethical challenges characterizing drylands and desertification processes that need to be addressed in the educational arena.
Topics included in the environmental education theme:
● Educational programs and projects conducted within formal and informal frameworks, and community initiatives.
● Management and education - Examples of degraded dryland restoration projects that integrate the community and/or educational frameworks.
● Science and education- Implementation of scientific knowledge in environmental education addressing dryland challenges; scientific studies that provide an educational resource and integrate students.
● Biophysical, social and educational research conducted on / that provides insight for the challenges of drylands and desertification processes.
● Educational success stories including quantitative and qualitative indicators of success.
● Indigenous and local knowledge in education for sustainability in drylands
● Advanced green technologies in the desert and their inclusion in environmental education.
Greywater Utilization in the Drylands
Conveners, Amit Gross (firstname.lastname@example.org), Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
Grey water utilization is as old as modern plumbing, but recognition of its value has grown in recent years, especially in dryland regions. As water scarcity became more acute throughout the world, water prices rose, quotas dropped and households and buildings began to seek greater hydrological self-sufficiency. Many countries, communities and households came to understand the potential environmental dividend that recycled household waters can provide depleted water budgets and began to promote policies accordingly. This sessions will describe practical developments in greywater technologies as well as different regulatory strategies for both encouraging greater utilization of this resource while assuring quality control and prevention of possible environmental risks.
Transboundary Management of Water Resources in Drylands
Watershed boundaries have little to do with political borders making the management of transboundary surface and groundwater a particular vexing political and technical challenge. This session will consider the unique aspects of these dynamics in areas that face perennial shortages. In conjunction with the academic presentations, a field trip will be offered on day three of the conference that will follow the river Jordan’s flow from the Kinerret Lake (Sea of Galilee) to the Dead Sea.
Natural Capital and the Drylands
The importance of ecosystem services to human well being is now widely recognized. The monitoring and characterization of these services has emerged as a key tool in making land management and planning decisions. The Natural Capital "NatCap" project, based at Stanford University, with the participation of the World Wildlife Fund, Nature Conservancy and the University of Minnesota have taken the lead in developing methodologies for quantification of ecosystem services and creating pc based computer models. Already the NatCap project has begun to influence key decisions around the country. Senior representatives of the NatCap staff will present their experience, their program and discuss applications for dryland regions.
International Arid Lands Consortium Program Retrospective
The International Arid Lands Consortium Program, is a consortium of universities and agencies based at the University of Arizona. The IALC has supported research in deserts and drylands for over a decade with dozens of successful studies involving sustainable living, water management, forestry and agriculture in the drylands. The staff of the IALC will present examples from its research history and discuss its future research agenda and vision.
Convener: Michael Ben-Eli, The Sustainability Project, USA
This session will focus on various aspects of Project Wadi Attir, an innovative project of a Bedouin community in the Negev for establishing a sustainable, desert, farming operation integrating social, environmental,technological and economic considerations. The project, a joint initiative of the Sustainability Laboratory, a US-based non-profit and the Hura Municipal Council, the governing body of a local Bedouin township, is designed to leverage Bedouin traditional values, aspirations, know-how and experience with sustainability principles, modern day science and cutting edge technologies. The project showcases a breakthrough model of sustainability practices in an arid environment, valid and replicable locally as well as in other regions around the world.
Studies of biological and structural soil crusts with geoinformation
Convener: Tal Svoray (email@example.com), Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Israel
Soil crusts, biological as well as structural, act as important components of desert ecosystems due to their effect on water budget and surface processes. Remote sensing and spatial modeling can shed new light on the spatial distribution of crusts, their functioning in the slope and watershed scales and their temporal dynamics. This session will focus on the use of hyperspectral as well as multispectral remote sensing and dynamic modelling of soil crusts to better understand dry ecosystems. Among the themes to discuss are the following: spectroscopy of structural and biological crusts; modeling of surface sealing; and ecosystem functioning and soil crust.
Informal Employment of Women in Rural Drylands
Convener: Sarab Abu-Rabia-Queder (firstname.lastname@example.org), Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
The main drawback in the approach of development agencies to the successful integration of rural women in economic development projects in developing countries is the lack of consideration of women's roles and women’s unpaid work in the household and beyond. Similarly, development agencies’ failure to recognize the unequal power relation between the genders in these countries and the unique informal contribution of rural women to development has added to the marginalization of women as a consequence of the top-down approach adopted by these agencies.
The current session aims to shed light on this neglected field that combines home, community and female employment. Although informal, i.e., not included in official statistics, this employment may certainly be defined as a form of economic participation/income that has an economic impact and that makes a contribution to the women, to the family household, and to changing women’s gender roles in the family and community spheres. We aim to learn how to foster women's employment in these poor rural-arid regions through utilizing their traditional & feminine skills as well as to learn how to engender a local economy that maintains the environmental, social, and cultural and gender needs and roles of women.
Elli Groner (email@example.com), Dead Sea and Arava Science Center, Israel
Moshe Shachak (firstname.lastname@example.org), Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Israel
Ecosystem services are the services and goods that nature provides people. There are 3 main disciplines that study this concept: ecology, economics and sociology (with anthropology). The main issue that is studied is: how the management of ecosystems affects the services that the human society is receiving from them. Also, ecosystem services deals with how the changes in ecosystem service supplies affects management. The study of ecosystem services in arid areas is pretty sparse and any study that focusses on the services from a cultural, management, ecological, economics or any other aspect is contributing to the field.
Long-term Observation of Dryland Ecosystems: Theory and Practice
Elli Groner (email@example.com), Dead Sea and Arava Science Center, Israel
Moshe Shachak (firstname.lastname@example.org), Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Israel
Observation of change has been identified as a major goal by global change programs including GNDRI, DNI, ILTER and GEOSS. While a number of conceptual papers aiming towards a Dryland Observation System have been published already, there is still the need for methodological progress to come to an adequate and harmonized Observation System.
This symposium offers space for contributions leading towards a Dryland Observation System. Contributions may include conceptual papers discussing the scope for products and services needed by various user groups. It may also encompass talks on the definition of essential variables to be measured in order to describe and understand processes and mechanisms of change. It should further allow technical papers on methodological progress, e.g. linking earth observation based on remote sensing with ground truth. Finally, desert research institutes are invited to report on the results of monitoring programs established by their institute. All participants of this symposium are asked to point out how their contribution could possibly become a building block within a future Dryland Observation System.
Creating Water Sensitive Cities
Water Sensitive Cities session suggested outline for Drylands, Deserts and Desertification conference in Sede Boqer, Israel Nov 2012
Towards Water Sensitive Cities (WSC) in Israel
Interdisciplinary approach for developing sustainable and liveable urban environments through innovative water management
The session will present various aspects of creating WSC in Israel. In order to materialise this goal and interdisciplinary approach is needed, and thus the presentations in the session will come from different disciplines. It will start by presenting the definition, rationale and vision of WSC in Israel (Friedler); the second presentation will describe a physically based approach for predicting urban stormwater pollution (Wallach); the third talk will address the interlinkage between sustainable urban water management and urban design by analysing several case studies (Alon-Moses & Rosenberg), the fourth lecture will address the interactions between moisture provided by water sensitive design, vegetation and thermal comfort in desert cities (Erell), while the last talk will describe WSC practice in Israel, the experience gained in a dual purpose – stormwater harvesting and aquifer treatment – pilot-scale biofilter being operated for more than two years now in Kfar-Sava (Zinger).
1. Setting the Scene and Vision for Water Sensitive Cities
Israel is facing pressures related to water availability and urbanisation. Israel cities are expanding, while experiencing water shortage and degradation of aquifers. At the same time, public health is further threatened by urban heat island effects, as cities become hotter due to climate change and rapid urbanisation. It is therefore clear that Israel cities must become resilient to climate and social pressures if they are to assure long term sustainability. Centralised urban water management cannot solely provide the multiple benefits required for these future needs. We thus must find new, integrated solutions that address climate change and urban growth by delivering simultaneous benefits for water security, natural environment, and liveability of our cities.
Speaker: A/prof. Eran Friedler. Fac. Of Civ. & Env. Eng., Technion – IL Inst. of Technol.
Duration: 20 min. (15+5)
2. A physically-based approach to simulate urban stormwater pollution
Stormwater pollution is a major problem in urban areas. Loads and concentrations of suspended solids, nutrients and other contaminants are much higher in urban stormwater than in runoff from unimpaired and rural areas. Estimation of urban stormwater pollutant loads is required to assess the impact of stormwater on drainage waterways and receiving waters and to design methods for minimizing these impacts. Clear understanding of the processes involved in pollutants uptake and transport by runoff enables better design of means to reduce pollution of the flowing stormwater and stormwater treatment facilities (biofilters, modular systems, etc.). Pollutants’ concentrations in stormwater depend on rainfall intensity and duration, antecedent dry period, and slope and roughness of the surface. A physically-based mathematical model for predicting hydrographs and pollutographs from different urban sub-catchments will be presented. The model is based on a comprehensive model that was developed by the author predicting pollution of surface runoff from agricultural lands by agrochemicals.
Speaker: Prof. Rony Wallach. Dept. of Soil & Water Sciences, The R.H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment. The Hebrew Univ. (Rehovot Campus), Israel.
Duration: 20 min. (15+5)
3. Sustainable urban water management and urban design: the Israeli case
As distinct from conventional approaches, integrative perspective of sustainable urban water management, which brings together engineering, hydrological, ecological and urbanistic perspectives, demands new holistic frames of analysis. This presentation will suggest a framework for assessing the emerging field of water sensitive design in Israel that relates hydrological functionality to urban design. Criteria will include a review of spatial aspects of stormwater management practices within the urban context; locations within watersheds; land use adjacencies; connectivity; scale/size; degree of integration within the urban fabric and the level of multifunctionality and public use. We will analyse recent Israeli projects, and point out achievements and potentials for better design of water sensitive cities in Israel.
Speakers: A/Prof. Tal Alon-Mozes, A/Prof. Elissa Rosenberg. Fac. of Architect. & Town Planning, Technion- IL Inst. of Technol.
Duration: 40 min. (30+10, Double Lecture)
4. Water-sensitive urban design: Effect of surface moisture and vegetation on thermal comfort in desert cities
Water sensitive urban design may enhance quality of life, and in particular, modify urban microclimate and mitigate the urban heat island. The primary means of doing so is by planting vegetation, either as an integral part of stormwater treatment elements incorporated in the urban landscape, or as independent parks supported by water obtained from such facilities. The talk will present the findings of a study on the effects of trees and grass on thermal comfort in a desert city, based on a monitoring experiment carried out at Sde Boqer and on subsequent computer modeling.
Speaker: Assoc. Prof. Evyatar Erell, Desert Architect. & Urban Planning, Blaustein Inst. for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion Univ. of the Negev
Duration: 20 min. (15+5)
5. Piloting water sensitive cities technologies in Israel; 1st pilot scale study in Kfar-Sava
Stormwater biofilters have been demonstrated to be effective for stormwater treatment. A dual-mode biofiltration system was constructed in Kfar-Sava to combine stormwater harvesting, detention and treatment during the wet season, and treating polluted groundwater during the dry season. The results shows that the system efficiently treated a range of pollutants in urban runoff and the treated water met the Israeli and Australian guidelines for irrigation, aquifer recharge and streams augmentation. The Kfar-Sava biofilter marked an important milestone for implementing Water Sensitive Urban Design principles in Israel. In the near future at least two more pilot-scale systems will be constructed, with the aim being establishing policies and process for widespread adoption as part of the “Creating Water Sensitive Cities in Israel” programme.
Speaker: Mr Yaron Zinger – Research Fellow. Monash Univ, Victoria, Australia.
Duration: 20 min. (15+5)
NGO’s Role in Promoting Sustainable Development in the African Drylands
(A special session sponsored by the Africa Center at Ben Gurion University)
For decades nongovernmental organizations have served a particularly critical role in promoting sustainable development across Africa. Often, civil society is given responsibility for implementation of programs by international aid agencies that typically might be government responsibility. NGOs also have been pioneers in introducing new concepts, technologies and approaching to development issues among different African countries. In this special forum, four outstanding leaders from African NGOs will convene to share from their experiences in this field. Their perspectives on what has worked and hasn’t worked and what approaches and priorities should African NGOs embrace in their future work will be the basis for a general discussion on this critical aspect of dryland development.
Saving the Dead Sea: Evaluating Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance
Convener: Noam Weisbrod, Department of Environmental Hydrology & Microbiology, The Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research (ZIWR), the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev at Sede Boker
Recently, the long - awaited draft report supported by the World Bank, evaluating a project that would address the depletion of the Dead Sea and chronic water shortages in Jordan and Palestine has been published. The project involves conveying water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea along the "Arava" section of the Syro-African rift which would both replenlish the Dead Sea, which has seen an annual drop of water level of over 1 meter and be part of a massive desalination plant that would produce drinking water. The environmental and economic implications were considered by a mutli-national team of experts. The report will be presented and a diverse group of stakeholders and experts will consider the findings.
Water Management in Arizona and the Lower Colorado River Basin (USA): Good Practices and Long-term Challenges
Convener: Sharon B. Megdal, University of Arizona, USA
Arizona, located in the southwestern United States, depends on the Colorado River for a significant amount of its water supplies. Groundwater and other surface supplies are also important water sources. About 70% of water withdrawals and diversions are for agricultural purposes. Mining is an important component of Arizona’s economy, as is tourism. In the face of growing population and water scarcity (average rainfall in the metropolitan regions ranges from 100 mm to 300 mm annually), Arizona has had to adopt a multi-faceted approach to water management. The Central Arizona Project, a large constructed open canal, transports Colorado River water uphill into Central Arizona. The energy used to pump the water is generated by a coal-fired plant. Depending on federal regulatory policy, the costs of meeting environmental regulations related to power generation may result in significantly higher water costs. Groundwater use is regulated, but only in certain parts of the state. Arizona shares an international border with Sonora, Mexico, and is home to several sovereign Indian Nations. Water management practices are developed and implemented in a complex environment, one that has many similarities to other water-scarce arid and semi-arid regions. The session will address both short-term and longer-term strategies to meet water demands of the municipal, industrial, agricultural and environmental sectors. The importance of water reuse, the role of water desalination, alternative conservation practices, water banking, and planning for uncertain climate conditions and surface water flows will be among the topics addressed.