File - The Shabrouh Dam is seen in this Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. With the retreating snow caps, there will be an even greater need to save rainwater in dams around the country. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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An acute decline in rainfall has sparked drought fears in Lebanon, with warnings of a "water emergency" and urgent calls for new solutions to combat scarcity and conserve water at home.Though experts say this year's dry spell is likely a natural variation in weather, they warned that climate change is causing a retreat in the country's snow cover that replenishes its streams and could lead to a worsening water crisis in the coming years.Climate change is causing other damage that is directly impacting Lebanon's water reserves.Farajalla said that Lebanon's warming leads to less snow in the mountains, which makes it difficult to recharge the country's flowing streams from which water is drawn.Lebanon currently has three major dams to store water, but will need several more.Storing water above ground is the only technically feasible way for now, Farajalla said. Its designers hope it will generate a surplus of 500 million cubic meters of water in five years.
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