Project 1.2 – Characterization of urban stormwater in Israel

Throughout the world, including Israel, urban runoff is considered to be a nuisance rather than a potential water source, and as such, stormwater is transported out of the cities, and eventually flows into streams or the ocean.  Many researchers have shown that urban runoff may contain a wide spectrum of both organic and inorganic pollutants, heavy metals and pathogenic bacteria.    The runoff is then likely to pollute the bodies of water into which the stormwater flows.  The “water sensitive cities” approach that has recently been developed in Australia sees this stormwater runoff as a potential resource that can be an alternative or additional urban water source, for a range of uses within the city (i.e. close to the place where the rain falls).  An attempt to adapt this approach in Israel is the motivation of this research.

The main goal of the research is to examine and to characterize the quantity and quality of urban runoff from three different land uses (road, light industry and residential), using Kfar -Saba as a case study, where we are able to isolate and monitor each sub-catchment and identify its land use.  The results can then be used as input data in planning biofilters and other types of systems that are designed to treat the stormwater.

The main catchment basin, located in eastern Kfar-Saba, has an area of 2,785 dunam and drains entirely into an open canal with a single exit point.  This catchment includes 32 secondary catchment basins, of which we are monitoring three, with the following characteristics:

G Main drainage basin that drains to a main drainage canal, and encompasses the entire basin, 2,785 dunam.

R Residential area, including roads, sidewalks, gardens, buildings, etc., 173 dunam.

LCommercial and light industrial area , including auto repair shops, workshops, stores, etc., 192  dunam.

TIntracity highway 55, a road with heavy vehicular traffic all hours of the day, 5.8  dunam.

To read and download the research report (Hebrew):


To download and read the full research booklet

“From a Nuisance to a Resource 2017” (Hebrew)