The Rivers of Israel Policy & Planning Principles

This document summarizes and presents ten years of river planning and restoration in Israel. This document compiles the principles, outlooks and perceptions that have served national river planning. These foundations have been widely discussed within the framework of the Israel River Restoration Administration, in the documents produced by this organization, and in river restoration plans themselves. In this respect, this document seeks to consolidate the theory and practice of different aspects of river planning based on past experience. Since it is only fitting that the experience of other countries in river restoration should serve future planning and implementation in Israel, the document also presents this experience.

Alongside the compilation of material, this document discusses topics including the place of rivers in national planning frameworks and their function as central axes in the open space system, as shapers of the interface between built-up and open areas, and as the layers of the foundations of physical planning in Israel.

The document is organized in three parts:

Part A — Introduction — presenting a survey of the central trends in river restoration in Israel and worldwide. This section surveys the activities of the Israel River Restoration Administration, including the river plans prepared by the Administration, and the foremost views on river restoration issues in the Western world.

Part B — Principles — presenting a survey of the four central aspects of river restoration: integrative, hydrological, ecological and social. Within the framework of each of these two facets are discussed: the goal-oriented aspect — defining the objectives of river restoration and the contribution of rivers to shaping the image of the country and the quality of life of its residents; and the practical aspect — tackling, on a concrete level, the undesirable state of the river, defining effective ways of restoring rivers and allowing them to fulfill their inherent potential in practice.

Part C — Tools — dealing with a seemingly technical aspect relating to maintenance of river restoration, management, monitoring and control. Yet these aspects are of prime importance as a platform for the sustainable restoration of rivercourses. Within this framework the administrative, legal and organizational tools at the basis of restoration work are surveyed.