Prior to the establishment of the State of Israel (1948) many of its coastal streams had significant perennial lotic habitats. Population increase and ensuing rapid agricultural and urban development resulted in an augmented demand for water, causing a severe decline in water sources for stream-flow. Today, two thirds of the population, a large majority of the industries, and a considerable share of intensive agricultural activities are located in the Coastal Plain. This demophoric growth is also reflected in rapidly growing waste production, which due to improper treatment and disposal, takes a heavy toll on the environment, especially on the aquatic habitats of the coastal streams. The outcome of this process was a gradual transformation of rivers into conduits of waste to a degree that most of the streams presently constitute a sanitary and aesthetic nuisance. Copyright ASCE 2004.