Electricity in Lebanon, between yesterday and today

The Foundation of the Friends of Ibrahim Abd El Al published a new booklet titled 'Electricity in Lebanon, between yesterday and today'. This publication was distributed during the Gala Dinner of the organized by the Foundation, where decision makers, academics, experts, and researchers in the field of water and energy were gathered.

Throughout the event and the publication, AFIAL stressed on the vision of the late engineer Ibrahim AbdEl Al concerning the renewable energy, emphasizing on hydro-power. Within the booklet, a comparison between this vision, the recent data and the new vision was presented. AFIAL stressed on the need and necessity of the sustainable exploitation of the water resources, mixing the hydro power projects with the potable and agricultural projects at the national level. The conclusion drawn was that Lebanon can enhance more than 139 megawatts in 7 important locations which can generate 300 million KWh/year.
AFIAL is calling the decision makers to give this issue the necessary efforts and time to be well studied, taking into consideration the benefits that can be generated in terms of productivity and the environment in the country.

Study: ‘Legal Analysis of the Upper Jordan River Basin’

The Order of Engineers & Architects in Beirut and the Foundation of the Friends of Ibrahim AbdEl Al (AFIAL) have launched the study entitled ‘Legal Analysis of the Upper Jordan River Basin’. The study tackles how, from a national perspective, Lebanon must achieve its basic rights to an equitable share of the transboundary waters, to resolve the water conflict in the region.

The ‘Legal Analysis of the Upper Jordan River Basin’ examines the basis for the development of a national Lebanese policy on transboundary waters on the Upper Jordan River. Comprehensive audits of the relevant water resources and legal elements were taken into consideration, with results interpreted as per the global hydro politics of the basin.

The study is timely for coinciding with three major developments in relation to water resources. Firstly, the need for the economic development in the Hasbani Basin, which is leading to an increased use of the region’s water resources. Secondly, The agreement between four of the five Jordan River riparian states on the 1997 UN Watercourses Convention, which provides a distinct opportunity to work towards the resolution of the conflict through an equitable re-distribution of the flows. And thirdly, the Lebanese Government is engaged in three legal processes currently underway: The 2013 opening of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Water Convention to non-European countries; the ongoing drafting of the Arab Water Convention; and the ongoing debate of the International Law Commission’s Draft Aquifer Articles (DAA).

Accordingly, several recommendations on how to proceed in regards to the water issue have been addressed by experts, in the report.

To learn more about the study, along with the key findings and comprehensive recommendations of the team of experts, Click here to download the full study.

Hydro-Political Baseline of the Upper Jordan River

The Foundation of the Friends of Ibrahim Abd el Al is pleased to announce the publication of the Hydropolitical Baseline of the Upper Jordan River, a study undertaken by the UEA Water Security Research Centre.

The Hydropolitical Baseline of the Upper Jordan River study examines the history and current politics of water use in the basin – specifically the Liddan, Banias and Hasbani sub-basins. An interdisciplinary lens interprets the archives of French and British authorities, Lebanese and Israeli river flow data, news media, interviews and unpublished official reports. Finding the distribution of the transboundary flows to be asymmetric in the extreme, the study investigates how the inequity has been achieved and is maintained. It also situates the Lebanon-Israel water conflict within the broader political conflict, and examines the effect of the 2006 war on water resources and water infrastructure. The study thus fills an important gap with significance to the wider Jordan River Basin (including Syria, Jordan and the West Bank and Gaza) – and lays the baseline for the river’s equitable use.

Amongst many other findings, the study:

Clearly establishes the physical basis for the Liddan as an international river;
Identifies significant knowledge gaps in the public domain of hydrology, hydro-geology, and water use;
Finds that transboundary groundwater flows are of greater volume than surface water flows;
Provides an estimate of use of the Upper Jordan River basin (surface water and groundwater, in million cubic meters per year): Syria – 0, Lebanon – about 11, Israel – 360 to 520;
Shows how control of water resources can be maintained with (the Golan – Banias and groundwater recharge of the Liddan) or without (e.g. the upper Hasbani) the control of territory, and other aspects of hydro-hegemony;
Identifies established and emerging narratives constructed about the flows, and discusses the implications of an Israeli discourse linking water with state security on resolution of the water conflict;
Evaluates the importance of control over water resources with the Israeli occupation of Ghajar and the Cheba’a Farms, alongside military and religious motives;
Documents the extensive damage to water resources and water infrastructure during the 2006 war, in violation of the laws of armed conflict;
Finds that mediation by the international diplomatic community during the 2002 Wazzani Springs dispute tended towards conflict management, and away from conflict resolution; and Discusses the extent to which International Water Law may form the basis of equitable use and resolution of the water conflict.
Click here to read the full study

Foundation’s Publications

The Foundation has compiled the main writings of Ibrahim Abd El Al in three volumes. The first one contains the lectures he presented between 1948 and 1957 on various subjects such as Energy, Water Resources, Agriculture, Economy, Development, Planification. The second volume contains his scientific studies and the third volume contains the integral text of his hydrological study of the Litani River which was the base for implementing the Litani project. These books are available upon request at the Foundation Headquarters in Beirut.

Moreover, the Foundation has adapted specific themes of Abd El Al’s main writings and published them in various booklets to emphasize and promote water-related solutions in integrated and sustainable measures like Abd El Al previously planned.

The themes chosen from his writings are:

Agriculture and Irrigation in Lebanon
Planification of Water and Energy in Lebanon
The Litani Project
Visions on the Lebanese Economy and its relation to Water Resources, planifications, and management
Equipping the Litani River
Ibrahim Abd El Al and the Integrated Water Resource Management

In addition to that, AFIAL organized a conference for the 50th memorial of Ibrahim Abd El Al at the Lebanese American University (LAU). Moreover, the Foundation republished a book written about Abd El Al, Edition du Cénacle Libanais. Click here to view the book in French or in Arabic

Part of the Foundation’s publications, are lectures compiled in three different books in Arabic published since 1993 and distributed to the public and the decision makers. The titles of the books are: Water and Energy, Water in Lebanese Districts, Agricultural Policy in Lebanon.

The Foundation initiated the republishing of the geological maps of Lebanon. The project was financed by the European Commission and implemented by the Institute for Geographical Affairs (Lebanese Army) and the Council for Development and Reconstruction. These maps were drawn in the 40s by the French Geologist Louis Dubertret, at the request of Ibrahim Abd El Al who was then Director General of the Ministry of Public Works. The project consisted of the reproduction, printing and distribution of the 25 maps covering the Lebanese territory (scale 1/50.000), one map of Lebanon (scale 1/200.000), and 17 booklets. These maps are available to the public as part of the Foundation’s information dispatching activities.

In 2000, the Lebanese government issued a memorial stamp in memory of Ibrahim Abd El Al and in recognition of his important work and his huge contribution to the development of Water Resources in Lebanon.