Glossary

AAA
Arab Agronomist Association
Adaptation
Strategies, policies and measures designed to reduce the current and future impacts of global environmental changes.
Adaptive management
Managing resources under uncertainty, iteratively modifying management strategies with new information becoming available.
Afforestation
Planting of new forests on lands that have not been recently forested.
Albedo
The fraction of solar radiation reflected by a surface or object, often expressed as a percentage.
Anthropogenic
Effects or processes that are derived from human activities, as opposed to effects or processes that occur in the natural environment without human influences
ATEEC
Arab Technologist for Economical and Environmental Consultations
BGU
Ben Gurion University
Biogeochemical cycle
 Natural processes that recycle nutrients in various chemical forms from the environment, to organisms, and then back to  the environment, including the hydrologic cycle
Biological oxygen demand (BOD)
 Amount of dissolved oxygen needed by aerobic decomposers to break down the organic materials in a given volume of water at a certain temperature over a specified time period. 
Biomass
Total dry weight of all living organisms that can be supported at each tropic level in a food chain.  Also, materials that are biological in origin, including organic material (both living and dead) from above and below ground
Biosphere
The living and dead organisms found near the Earth’s surface in parts of the lithosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere.
Biotic
Living;Living organisms make up the biotic parts of ecosystems. 
Blue Water
The Freshwater available in rivers, lakes and groundwater for human uses, e.g. municipal, industrial or agricultural
BOD5
The biochemical oxygen demand of wastewater during decomposition occurring over a 5-day period.  A measure of the organic content of wastewater. 
Capillary Rise
Movement of water from the groundwater to the soil moisture due to capillary forces against the gravity
Climate change
A statistically significant variation in either the mean state of the climate or its variability, persisting for an extended period (typically decades or longer). Climate change may be due to natural internal processes or external forcings, or to persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use.
Climate impacts
Consequences of climate change on natural and human systems.
Climate model
A numerical representation of the climate system based on the physical, chemical and biological properties of its components, their interactions and feedback processes, and accounting for all or some of its known properties
Climate scenario
A plausible and often simplified representation of the future climate, based on an internally consistent set of climatological relationships, that has been constructed for explicit use in investigating the potential consequences of climate change,
Climate variability
Variations in the mean state and other statistics (such as standard deviations, the occurrence of extremes, etc.) of the climate on all temporal and spatial scales beyond that of individual weather events. Variability may be due to natural internal processes within the climate system (internal variability), or to variations in natural or anthropogenic external forcing (external variability).
Discharge
Volume of water flowing through a river (or channel) cross-section in unit time.
DSS
Decision Support System. Data and information system that supports decision making
Driving forces
Societal forces that bring about global environmental change, including population, economy, technology, ideology, and social organizations.
Drought
The phenomenon that exists when precipitation has been significantly below normal recorded levels, causing serious hydrological imbalances that adversely affect land resource production systems.
Ecosystem
The complex system of plant, animal, fungal, and microorganism communities and their associated non-living environment interacting as an ecological unit. 
Ecosystem goods and services
Benefits derived by humans as a result of ecosystem processes and functioning. Ecological goods are typified by the production of food and fiber. Ecosystem services include carbon storage and the reduction of greenhouse gases, the maintenance of water quality and soil fertility, resistance to climate and other environmental changes, or the maintenance of ecological conditions favorable for human health.
Environment
All external conditions that affect an organism or other specified system during its lifetime.
Evaporation
The movement of gaseous water (water vapor) from the Earth’s surface to the atmosphere
Evapotranspiration
The loss of water from the soil and other surfaces by evaporation and by transpiration from the plants growing in the soil, which rises with air temperature.
Extreme (weather) event
An event that is rare within its statistical reference distribution at a particular place. Definitions of “rare” vary, but an extreme weather event would normally be as rare as or rarer than the 10th or 90th percentile.
Field capacity
The amount of water the soil is able to retain against gravitational forces
GCM
Global Circulation Model;A complex computer model of the earth’s climate system designed to help scientists learn about the interactions among the atmosphere, the oceans, the lithosphere, and the biosphere.
Global Environmental Change
The set of biophysical transformation of states and flows of land, oceans and atmosphere, driven by an interwoven system of human and natural processes; these are intimately connected with processes of socio-economic and cultural globalization.
GLOWA
Globaler Wandel des Wasserkreislaufs;A set of cluster projects on global change in the hydrological cycle
Green Water
the water held in soils, supporting rainfed agriculture and all terrestrial ecosystems
GTZ
Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit;German technical development cooperation
GWSP
Global Water System Project
Hydrosphere
The part of the Earth composed of water: clouds, oceans, ice caps, lakes, rivers, groundwater etc.
IMK-IFU
Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung, Atmosphärische Umweltforschung, Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research, Atmospheric Environmental Research
Infiltration
The passage of water through the soil surface into the soil
Institutions
Clusters of rights, rules, and decision-making procedures that give rise to social practices, assign roles to participants in these practices and govern interactions among players of these roles.
Integrated assessment
A method of analysis that combines results and models from the physical, biological, economic and social sciences, and the interactions between these components, in a consistent framework, to evaluate the status and the consequences of environmental change and the policy responses to it.
IWRM
Integrated Water Resources Management. Coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources in order to maximize the resultant economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems
LAI
Leaf Area Index. total leaf area per unit ground surface area. More specifically, for broad leaf trees such as aspen or maple, it is the one-sided leaf area for broad leaf trees, and half the total needle area for coniferous trees
Land cover
The physical state of the land, including the quantity and type of surface vegetation, water, and earth materials.
Land use
The human employment of land; includes settlements, cultivation, pasture, rangeland, and recreation, among others.
LASCAM
Large Scale Catchment Model
MENA
Middle East – North Africa region
Mitigation
Any actions that prevent, limit, delay, or slow the rate of undesired impacts by acting on either the environmental system, the human proximate forces, or the human systems that drive environmental change.
Modflow
MODular three-dimensional finite-difference ground-water FLOW model
NDVI
Normalized Difference Vegetation Index. A remote sensing index calculated from reflectances measured in the visible and near infrared channels. It is related to the fraction of photosynthetically active radiation.
Nonlinearities
Occur when changes in one variable cause a more than proportionate impact on another variable.
Non
point source;Large land area such as crop fields and urban areas that discharge pollutant into surface and underground water over a large area. 
Overgrazing
Grazing by livestock or wildlife to the point where the grass cover is depleted, leaving bare, unprotected patches of soil.
PALAST
Palestinian Academy of Science and Technology
Percolation
Downward movement of water through the soil
PHG
Palestinian Hydrology Group
Point source
A single identifiable source that discharges pollutants into the environment, e.g. sewer, ditch, or pipe
Potential evaporation
A measure of the ability of the atmosphere to remove water from the surface through the processes of evaporation and transpiration assuming no control on water supply.
Recharge
Replenishment of groundwater naturally by precipitation or runoff, or artificially by spreading or injection
Reforestation
Artificial or natural re—establishment of forest in an area that was previously under forest cover.
Remote sensing
The measurement or acquisition of information of some property of an object or phenomenon, by a recording device that is not in physical contact with the object under study, e.g. satellites
Runoff
That part of the precipitation, snow melt, or irrigation water that appears in uncontrolled surface streams, rivers, drains or sewers
SAS
Story and Simulation approach to scenario development and scenario analysis
Scenarios
A plausible and often simplified description of how the future may develop, based on a coherent and internally consistent set of assumptions about driving forces and key relationships.
SEI
Stockholm Environment Institute
Septic tank
Underground tank for treatment of wastewater from a home in rural and suburban areas. 
Sewage treatment
Primary: mechanical treatment of sewage in which large solids are filtered out by screens and suspended solids settle out as sludge in a sedimentation tank, secondary: second step in most waste treatment systems during which bacteria consume the organic parts of the wastes. tertiary: advanced treatment process, which includes removal of nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen and practically all suspended and organic matter from waste water
Sink
A reservoir that uptakes a pollutant from another part of its cycle. 
SMART
Sustainable Management of Available Water Resources with Innovative Technologies, partner project of GLOWA Jordan River
Sustainability
The development of systems capable of ensuring that future generations will have coupled human-environment systems capable of providing goods and services without degradation of structure or function.
TAU
Tel Aviv University
Terrestrial
Pertaining to land.
Terrestrial ecosystem
Land-based ecosystem, such as forests, deserts, grasslands, or croplands, among others
TRAIN model
Transpiration
The process by which water vapor escapes from a living plant, principally through the leaves, and enters the atmosphere.
UNFCCC
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Vulnerability
The degree to which a system is susceptible to, or unable to cope with, adverse effects of global environmental change. Vulnerability is a function of the character, magnitude, and rate of climate variation to which a system is exposed, its sensitivity, and its adaptive capacity.
WEAP
Water Evaluation and Planning. Water management model developed at SEI
Wetland
Land that stays flooded all or part of the year with fresh or salt water.
Design by noname designs.