About Us

The Desert Floods Research Center, which operates within the Dead Sea and Arava Science Center, is a specialized center for research, education, application, and dissemination of various aspects of desert floods.

The unique natural properties of the desert – arid climate, short and often intense rainfall events, lack of vegetation and scarce developed soils – contribute to the generation of surface runoff and floods. These 'flash floods' appear suddenly and are characterized by their high intensity and short duration. Their high alluvial transport capacity causes considerable topographic changes which modify the landscape.

Although flash floods are of great interest, several knowledge gaps exist in Israel and throughout the world. The Desert Flood Research Center was established with the assistance of the Dead Sea Drainage Authority and the Arava Drainage Authority, in attempt to bridge some of these knowledge gaps. The center is managed by a steering committee that consists of the bodies that initiated and established the center, including the drainage authorities of the Negev, the Nature and Parks Authority, Ben-Gurion University, the regional municipalities of the Dead Sea and Arava Science Center and other relevant stakeholders.

The staff of the Desert Flood Research Center includes PhD level hydrologists, research assistants, and graduate students working in all of the Dead Sea and Arava Science Center branches (Dead Sea, Hatzeva, Mitzpe Ramon and Yotvata).

Researchers of the Desert Flood Research Center are currently conducting several ongoing research projects, such as: using remote sensing to detect flood events, assessing the accuracy of flood risk assessment using LSPIV technology, characterizing the links between hydrology and ecology in hyper-arid regions, using runoff for agriculture, assessing the effects of flash floods on infrastructure, and others.

The Desert Flood Research Center seeks to provide answers as the need to understand and cope with the consequences of desert floods grows, and as part of an overall goal to better understand the desert and our environment. The knowledge and insights gained through its studies will help the scientific community, communities in the desert and society as a whole, to manage floods as an integral part of desert life.

Yael Zeldman-Haviv
Program Director
Desert Flood Research Center

נחל שחק בכניסה לחצבה 25.2.20 צילום: עומר עדין