National Authority
for the Litani River
National Authority for the Litani River

Litani River Basin Management support program

The Litani River is the largest river in Lebanon and drains the central and south Bekaa Valley. Its water resources have been harnessed for human uses since the 1960s through the construction of the Qaraoun Dam.

The Litani River Basin is today experiencing increasing water demands, groundwater over-exploitation, and extensive pollution. In summer, the Litani River shows a meager flow, much decreased from 40 years ago. The smell reveals its origin and contents: raw sewage, untreated industrial effluents and agricultural runoff. A walk along the river shows:

Extensive garbage dumping; Direct release of urban wastewater;

Uncontrolled industrial discharges;
Lack of riverbed maintenance, infringements and unauthorized diversions.

During May-September 2011, IRG conducted a walk-through survey of the Litani River and its tributaries. The objective of this walk-through was to qualitatively assess the gradual degradation of the Litani River as it flows from source to outlet and use this information to raise awareness among water users and residents at large as the ones responsible for the situation and also severely impacted by it.

A large collection of pictures was collected during this walk-through, amply documenting the severe degradation experienced so far by the river. The river is now a threat to public health as water pollution propagates to soils, crops, and animals, as well as an obstacle to the socio-economic development and well-being of riparian communities.

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