Institute of Hydrology, FreiburgThe impact of urbanisation on integrated catchment hydrology and water resources, West Bank and Israel
a trilateral research project funded by the German Science Foundation (DFG)




Urban Monitoring

Spring Monitoring

Field Observations


Large Scale
Rainfall-Runoff Modelling


Project Members


The general aim of this research effort is to evaluate - on the basis of a diverse but highly co-ordinated network of measurements and techniques - the impact of urbanisation on integrated drainage basin hydrology and water resources in and around the rapidly expanding city of Ramallah.

Extensive field campaigns provide the basis for a detailed understanding of the complex hydrological system and enable the sound parameterization of hydrological models. All information is gathered in a commonly accessible GIS-based database.

The project aims to contribute to following problem areas:

  • How much flooding increase will be caused to the densely populated downstream (Israeli) reaches of the streams by various scenarios of upstream (Palestinian) urbanization increase?
  • What is the impact of urbanization on the quality of storm water in urban drainage systems and natural wadis?
  • How sensitive are local springs and the mountain aquifer to infiltration of sewage or polluted floods in the wadis and on the karst surfaces?
  • Where are the most vulnerable zones (in terms of intrinsic and specific vulnerability) where urban development should be strictly controlled or even banned and what type of water resource do they mostly endanger?
  • What is the real, on-terrain hydrologic balance in the intake areas of the local springs and of the mountain aquifer? This question, with emphasis on the processes at and close to the surface, has been answered up to now only in very general terms based on total aquifer water balance drawn from distant well data.