Hydrological analysis of Wadi Gaza Wetland Area
par Web Team
Although accurate topographical maps are unavailable, the watershed of Wadi Gaza is estimated to cover more than 3500 km2 of the Northern Negeve Desert and the Hebron Mountains as well as the small catchment in Gaza. The Wadi’s length from origin to mouth is about 105 km, where the last 9 km of it is located in Gaza Strip. Its name Wadi Gaza is only for the last part which is located in Gaza. Wadi Gaza has two main tributes one is Wadi Alshari’a which collects water from the Hebron Mountains in the West Bank and the other is Wadi Alshallala which collects water from the Northern Negeve highest. Figure 1.1 shows the other names of the upper parts of the Wadi including Wadi Sheneq, Wadi EI-Khalsa and Wadi Thamela in addition to other small streams. Wadi Gaza continue to flow as one course in its last part in Gaza Strip down to the Mediterranean Sea with a slope of about 1: 450, which is almost flat, while its slope in the upper parts in Negev and Hebron Mountains is about 1: 100 (Awadallah, 2000).
The Wadi gains it’s importance from the fact that it is the only surface water resource in Gaza Strip as well it is the main natural feature of Gaza which make it the major place for the biodiversity. The Wadi area is a site of significant importance to migrating water birds, located on the migration route of migrating birds. A recent survey found that on average 250,000 white storks, 70,000 white pelicans and 500,000 raptors migrates across this region from Europe to Africa in autumn and that about a million raptors and 450,000 white storks transit the area from Africa to Europe in spring (Goodson, 1999).