With limited resources and rapidly increasing demands, sustainability is becoming an
increasingly important, yet difficult goal to achieve in wadis (Salih and Ghanem, 2003).
Sustainability of wadi systems is more complicated due to the conflicts and interactions
among the different resource utilizations especially in semi-arid areas where natural resources
such as water are scarce.. It is a fact that sustainability of any natural entity can only be
achieved through an integrated approach for its management.
In this paper, an attempt is made to summarize the challenges facing sustainable development
of wadi systems in semi-arid areas taking two wadis in the Lower Jordan River as an
example. These wadis are wadi Jerash in Jordan and wadi faria in the West Bank. The paper
will try also to propose some solutions towards achieving sustainable development in these
wadis. The challenges considered in this paper include technical, socio-economic,
environmental, institutional, political and legal aspects. Both wadis are considered due to
their characteristics as a natural environmental set-up that need to be managed in a
comprehensive, sustainable manner.
The proposed methodologies are based on the outcome of wadi al Far'a and Jerash integrated
watershed management project which was based on the outcome of the evaluation of the
different pilot projects implemented under the SMAP project. The implemented pilots were
selected based on the identification of the main environmental issues existed in both wadis.
The overall aim of the project is to create sustainable development conditions for the study
area through which water resources, natural resources and human resources are protected and
conserved. The project is conducted by the Jordanian ministry of Environment (MoEN), The
Palestinian Environmental Quality Authority ( EQA) and United Nation University-
International Network on Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWUH) with financial
support from the European Union (EU); Short and Medium term environmental Action
Program (SMAP) and the Dutch Ministry of Environment (VROM).
Key words: sustainability, wadis, hydrology, Jerash Watershed, Faria Watershed, Semi-Arid