Method

We developed a model for planning water supply from diverse sources, including groundwater, the National Water Carrier, wastewater and seawater. The model integrates hydrological, technological and economic considerations, and estimates the economic and environmental impacts of alternative water management policies; it was implemented in a case study of the Emek Heffer and northern Sharon regions in Israel. We constructed a unique hydrological database, which included detailed groundwater data for each hydrological cell in the case study area, and developed and ran a hydrological model for planning the allocation of the water resources and forecasting the concentration of chlorides in the aquifer under alternative scenarios. These scenarios included a variety of threshold policies for water supply to the city, irrigation or to the aquifer, irrigation with and without wastewater, and various well water pumping policies. We developed an economic model that estimated the costs of various desalination processes under the regional conditions, and calculated the costs of the water supply to the region under these scenarios.

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