Lebanon Businessnews News

Looking for new freshwater sources
Submarine and
subterranean exploration
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The Minister of Water and Power (MoEW) Arthur Nazarian has requested the Cabinet to approve maritime research for freshwater sources.

Nazarian and Mouin Hamze, the Secretary General of the National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS), were on board the CANA, a vessel conducting scientific activities related to sustainable development of the seashore. The two agreed that the CNRS has the capabilities and equipment to conduct a survey of submarine freshwater sources, eliminating the need for hiring foreign, said a ministry spokesperson.  

The maritime study will take a little over year to conduct. “Recent studies have found that small and medium freshwater resources that existed near the shoreline surface have disappeared and this was surprising,” said Hamze. He said that this could be attributed to either a dry season or to private wells built on land near shorelines siphoning maritime freshwater sources.

“We will conduct a survey of Chekka and Tyre and take out samples to assess the quality of water sources there, the results of which will be subject to funding approval by the Cabinet,” said Hamze.

The MoEW said the government is funding a local effort to find subterranean water sources. “We have sources of water locally. What is needed is proper management and (more) funding,” said the spokesperson.

A ministerial committee was created to assist four water directorates for Beirut and Mount Lebanon, Bekaa, North and South in their effort to locate fresh water. LL150 billion were earmarked to dig wells and power diesel generators in many areas in need of water. This is an independent effort from OCHA, a UN body providing $4.5 million in financing to conduct water related construction in areas where Syrian refugees have occupied.

The CANA research ship was a donation in 2011 from the Italian government to help coastal research overseen by the CNRS, and financed by an amount reaching €2.3 million. The vessel has been carrying out marine and environmental research since 2009.
Reported by Hadi Khatib
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Date Posted: Aug 13, 2014