Earth Link and Advanced Resources Development s a. r L. (Elard) Submitted to: Council for Development and Reconstruction

Environmental and Social Baseline Study

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Environmental and Social Baseline Study

This section sheds light on the existing physical environment and socio-economic status.

The Climate conditions in the project area are those of a typical eastern Mediterranean climate; the rainfall is low and restricted to the period between November and March, and the temperatures are high in summer, but the area is not subject to the cold winter that occurs in Lebanese mountains.

The existing ambient noise levels recorded near most of the surface structure components averaged between 60 and 65 dB (A). Therefore ambient noise levels already exceed allowed noise levels as per Lebanese legislation (Decision 52/1 of 1996).

The tunnel passes mainly through the upper and the middle Sannine-Maameltein Formation of Cenomanin and Turonian ages respectively. This formation is mainly composed of hard massive limestone and dolomitic limestone rocks. Exposures of this formation cover most of the study area with a total thickness of around 800 m. Only the upper part of this formation is exposed in the study area.

Conformably overlying this formation is the Chekka Formation of Senonian age. It is mainly composed of thinly bedded soft marl and marly limestone rocks. It is mostly exposed in the areas surrounding Joun village.

Structurally the area is located few kilometers west of the Coastal Flexure which is the possible extension of the Roum Fault (Nemer, 1999). The flexure extends from Chhim in the southern part to Baawerta and Aaramoun in the central and northern parts of the study area respectively. The Flexure has steeply dipping beds which gentles as we approach the study area. The general inclination of the beds in the study area is around 20˚ dipping towards the west.

The Sannine-Maameltein Formation is the major coastal aquifer in the study area. It is karstic in nature with tertiary porosity meaning that groundwater is flowing mainly in fissures, fractures and conduits. There are no permanent springs issuing from this formation except close to the coastal area and mainly below sea level in the form of submarine springs (Feasibility Report, 1994).

The position of the water table is closely related to the base level which is the sea level and it gently rises inland with a mean gradient of 11.5 m/km. The depth of the water table was determined from groundwater wells (Feasibility Report, 1994).

The raw water will be delivered to the plant by the use of tunnels that belong to the existing hydroelectric system. There are two main sources of water:

  1. Karaoun Lake;

  2. Awali River.

Raw water quality has been analyzed several times in the past with the first one being in 1968/1972, the second one in August 1984 and the third one in 1994/1995. The most recent water quality analysis was conducted in 2001. The first two can be considered outdated as it is suspected that the condition and status of the tunnels, hydroelectric power plant and dams may have changed during the proceeding period. The analysis conducted in 1994/1995 contained some information on the most important parameters; however the feasibility report and the preliminary design report of Montgomery Watson did not cover comprehensive water quality information on a seasonal basis for both the Karaoun and Awali sources. It is not possible to immediately verify the conclusions and assumptions which were the basis of the 1994 feasibility study or the subsequent preliminary design. This is due to lack of recent detailed water quality monitoring data at the points of concern to this project, and the fact that new data would need to be collected over long periods to capture seasonal variations.

The landscape along the areas of the Awali project varies between the hills and the coastal planes. A summary of nature of landscape and existing biodiversity is given in Table 1 -2 below

Table 1 2 Summary of Landscape and Biodiversity




Joun flow regulation

Relatively steep valley (degraded site)

very common species including Calicotome villosa (Vahl) Link, Poterium spinosum L., Phlomis viscosa Poir., Nerium oleander L., Inula viscosa (L.) Aiton, Echinops viscosus DC. and Notobasis syriaca (L.) Cass.

Wadi Abou Yabes Washout

Isolated hillside location

Significantly degraded environment

Ouardaniye WTW

open hillside location

Several species were found and identified, including one specimen of Rhus tripartita (Ucria) D.C. and one of Quercus calliprinos Webb, 5 species of orchids in large quantities and many species of butterflies.

Nahr Damour Inverted Siphon

Deep, narrow valley

Several types of vegetation cover composed mainly by Platanus orientalis L. (Oriental Plane), Alnus orientalis Decne (Oriental Alder), Acer syriacum Boiss. et Gaill. (Syrian Maple), Pistacia lentiscus L. (Mastic), Pistacia palaestina Boiss. (Wild Pistachio), Quercus sp. (Oak), Salix acmophylla Boiss. and Salix alba L. var. micans And. (Willow) were found.

Khalde surge shaft and outlet

R hillside sites having a steep slope to the west

Highly degraded and/or with no important floral biodiversity.

Khalde flow measurement and samplignchamber

This location is characterized by the richness of its flora and the aged specimens of the trees found. This was by far the most important ecosystem visited among the 12 selected sites. This site is on the Pinus brutia Ten series, where the conifers Pinus brutia Ten., Pinus halepensis Mill. and Cupressus sempervirens L. are the most abundant formation.

Distribution Chamber

Between the new highway and the old coastal road. Offshore, the coastal beach is used for some recreational activities

Highly degraded and/or with no important floral biodiversity.

Hadath 125 reservoir

Terraced sloping valley

Highly degraded and/or with no important floral biodiversity.

Hadath 90 reservoir

Waste ground

Highly degraded and/or with no important floral biodiversity.

Hazmieh 90 reservoir

Flat to gently sloping ground

Highly degraded and/or with no important floral biodiversity.

Archaeological and historical interests are limited at the locations of surface features of the Project, and no remains were uncovered during site investigations. Khalde has yielded some archaeological finds but not directly in the project area.

A summary of social survey conducted at relevant main villages is given in Table 1 -3 below:

Table 1 3 Summary of Socio-Economic situation in main villages


General Description

Livelihood activities

Education, Culture, Community & Public Infrastructure

Water & Wastewater Services

Other information


Population: 7500-8000

Altitude: 350-400 m

Surface area: 12 km2

Land ownership: 20-30% publicly owned, and the remaining is privately owned

Land use: 80% is designated for agricultural use

Agriculture: Olive groves; Citrus orchards; Vegetables and Flowers in greenhouses; the majority of designated agricultural lands remain uncultivated due to the lack of irrigation water

Industry: Agro-food (Olive oil; Orange Blossom water; Rose water; Carob molasses); Manufacture of Nylon, Tyres and concrete building blocks

Commerce: Small shops and garages

High literacy rate (95%)

Two public & two private schools

Public Library

Afforestation campaigns

Sports facilities

Monastery of Saint Saviour

Archaeological features

Old stone houses

One dispensary & resident doctors

Drinking, service and irrigation water is supplied by the Barouk Water Authority and distributed through a public network

A public, municipal well supplements the supply in addition to many private wells in privately-owned lands

Small hillside reservoirs for rain water harvesting

No sewage network; septic tanks are used

A land survey is underway

60-70 building permits were handed out in the last three years

60% of the population are seasonal residents


Population: 4000

Altitude: 350 m

Agriculture: Vegetable production in greenhouses

Industry: A grain mill and building blocks factories

Commerce: Restaurant/Café

One public & one private school

One dispensary

Water is supplied through public wells, at depths of 452m and 369m, managed by the municipality, which also manages a distribution network

Up to 150 private wells are drilled in the village

No sewage network; septic tanks are used


Population: 30,000

Resident population: 10,000 (due to displacement & emigration)

Land ownership: The majority of lands are privately owned

Land use: 20% are in agricultural use

Agriculture: 100 ha of banana plantations and vegetable production

Commerce: Restaurants/Cafés; Small shops and garages

Two public & three private schools

Archaeological features

One dispensary & resident doctors

The Damour River waters are used for irrigation

Drinking and service water are supplied through municipal public wells and private wells

A sewage network is present but is not operational; septic tanks are used

A land survey has been carried out

Around 30 building permits were handed out in the last three years


Residential and touristic area, It is a coastal area that is rapidly urbanizing with 15,000-20,000 residents.

Very little agricultural activities

A water distribution network runs through Khaldeh and is supplied from the Mechref village. Water pipes have all been repaired this year. Also, several privately drilled wells exist in the village with a depth ranging from 30-60 m but water is slightly salty. A sewer network is present and is connected to the collector in Khaldeh.

residential and touristic area

rapidly urbanizing


Population: 150,000

Industry: Light industries – Elevators, towels, tiles

Commerce: Banks & shops

Many public service institutions

Four public, 10 private & two vocational schools; three universities, including the largest Lebanese University campus

Two hospitals, three dispensaries and many resident doctors

Water is supplied through the Ain El-Delbeh water authority and distributed through a municipally-owned and managed network

A sewage network is present and operational


Population: 6,500

Commerce: Over 10 banks and numerous offices

Many public service institutions

One public & six private schools; three universities

Two hospitals, one dispensary and many resident doctors

Water is supplied through the Ain El-Delbeh water authority from the Daichouniyeh Spring and distributed through a network

A sewage network is present and operational

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