Based on an assessment recently released by SWIM-SM the cost of water resource degradation of the Upper Litani Basin (ULB) is estimated to be equivalent on average to 0.5% of the National GDP in 2012, and is particularly attributable to water resources degradation (77% of total costs) including, in order of importance, water quantity, water-borne diseases and water quality.
Other major causes of degradation are the following:
· Poor waste collection and;
· Air pollution in the Zahleh and Baalbeck areas that affects not only health but also agricultural productivity, as additional use of fertilizers to compensate for productivity losses has some bearing on water resources quality.
Based on the cost-benefit analysis of different scenarios related to the three identified priorities for action, namely municipal water services improvement, drinking water and sanitation improvement and additional depollution investments to reach acceptable international and national water quality standards, a set of intervention areas are proposed, in view of achieving an integrated management of water resources in the ULB.
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