Date of Award

8-2019

Degree Type

Report

Degree Name

Master of Natural Resources (MNR)

Department

Natural Resources

First Advisor

Chris Luecke

Second Advisor

Eugene Schupp

Abstract

One of the fundamental principles of integrated water resources management is the interconnected nature of water in the hydrological cycle, including the interactions between surface water and groundwater. Although scientists have long recognized these interactions, in many cases they are not reflected in natural resources policies and management practices. As a result, the allocation of water resources by public authorities may not be optimal, and may furthermore lead to long-term degradation of water resources and the ecosystems they sustain. In response to this and to growing pressure on water resources from increasing human populations, water experts have developed a body of knowledge termed “conjunctive water resources management” to promote management approaches that treat surface water, groundwater and other components of the water cycle as a single, interconnected resource. The aim of conjunctive management is to ultimately increase the supplies of fresh water that are available for human use, to maximize their economic and social benefits while minimizing risks to the environment and ecosystems.

This paper will examine the potential for application of conjunctive management approaches in the Mediterranean region, where more than half of the countries fall below the threshold for water scarcity. Following an overview of integrated water resources management and conjunctive management techniques, a series of case studies will document the state of water resources management in three Mediterranean countries (Lebanon, Montenegro and Morocco), and provide recommendations that could assist the countries in moving towards implementation (or expansion) of conjunctive management practices.

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