Climate Change and Saltwater Intrusion along the Eastern Mediterranean: Socioeconomic Vulnerability

The Eastern Mediterranean is highly vulnerable to saltwater intrusion into the freshwater aquifers along its coasts. The degradation of these aquifers would result in serious socioeconomic consequence to people living there. This project will investigate how climate change is affecting the salinity of coastal aquifers at several locations in the region. Researchers will endeavour to understand the main drivers of aquifer salinization, whether due to climate change (sea level rise, changes in groundwater recharge rates) or known factors (population growth and associated increases in water extraction rates), and the relative importance of each. They will combine this information with information on domestic and agricultural water use to produce a set of vulnerability maps and mitigation measures to reduce the effects of saltwater intrusion on the local population and the environment. These measures will be tested in two small towns along the Lebanese coast in the Greater Beirut area. The project will contribute to better understanding of the relative impact of climate change on saltwater intrusion of coastal aquifers and suggest locally appropriate adaptation measures. It is also expected to improve the adaptive capacity of local communities to climate change, as well as providing policy alternatives for local governments

Project ID


Project status


End Date

Thursday, January 26, 2017


36 months

IDRC Officer

Charlotte MacAlister

Total funding

CA$ 516,700




Climate Change

Project Leader

Dr. Mutasem El-Fadel


American University of Beirut

Institution Country


Institution Website