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Panoramic Views > El Nabatieh > Hasbaya > Wazani River

Wazzani River

The problem of the water resources in Lebanon demands careful study. Nature has bestowed on Lebanon abundant riches of every kind, material and human. The hydraulic riches are incalculable, on the surface rivers, springs, rain, melting snows and dams, and in addition water deep underground. Even the fresh water bubbling up under the coastal sea, drinkable and recoverable, is estimated at several billion cubic meters a year. Descending from the mountain chains extending down from the high ranges of Asia Minor, with the accumulated eternal snows nourishing the underground reservoirs, from north to south, facing Shekka, Jounieh and Tyre, precious water that could be easily exploited rises from under the Mediterranean and is lost. This underground water is inexhaustible.

As for the surface water resources, they are many and varied; a number of dams have been built and others are under construction in order to make the best use of the “white coal”. All the rivers flow westwards to the sea, with the exception of the Orontes, El-Assi, which runs northward before emptying into the sea in the Turkish area.

There is just one river, the Hasbani with its El-Wazani tributary that flows south towards Israeli-controlled land before emptying into Lake Tiberius. The Hasbani takes its name from its source fifty-seven kilometers from the frontier at Tamoura at the foot of Mount Hermon. On its southward course it irrigates the cultivated land of the region and provides water for several villages. It passes by Dnaibi, Mimes, Ain Mentem and Kawkaba, and after passing round Hasbaya turns towards Fardis, Ebel es-Saqi and Ain Arab, where it changes its name from El-Wazani. It then runs through the region of El-Gajar and Maissate, to cross the southern frontier and flow into Lake Tiberius.

Several small tributaries flow into this river, which is one of the purest in the world, unpolluted, pure, healthy, mineral, natural and drinkable, indeed a treasure. There are historic bridges, water mills, and olive and grape presses, all of which draw tourists, holiday-makers and nature-lovers. At Deir Mimas there are more than fifty-four springs, a fact which shows how rich the region is in water.

According to tradition, anyone accused of a crime would have to cross the waters of the river. If he came out safe and sound he was considered innocent, while if he was drowned he was considered to have been guilty.

Of all these rich water resources Lebanon draws profit from 7 to 8% maximum. It is the Israelis who pump out both the surface and underground water. Here is a file to be studied for Lebanon to make best used of its rights and its sovereignty.

But whereas Lebanon, whether considered as a State or as a people, has no idea what it should do with all its water, the Israelis on the other hand know very well what to do with it and show it clearly.

The Lebanese have no general grand project in mind; for the moment various private enterprises have launched large tourist attractions and soon we shall see hotels, restaurants, complexes, clubs and so on, all of which will be a real nuisance for Israel.

- Wazzani River: >> View Movie << (2007-07-15)



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