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Wastewater Reuse in the Near East Region: Experience and Issues

Regional Symposium on Water Recycling in the Mediterranean Region






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    Document
    Monitoring treated wastewater in the United Arab Emirates - GCP/UAE/001/AFC 2018
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    A major challenge faced by the United Arab Emirates is the sustainability of their natural resources, above all water. Traditionally, water demands have been met through the exploitation of groundwater. However, rapid economic development, coupled with an increased population, has significantly increased water demand. Groundwater abstraction in Abu Dhabi is currently over 25 times the average recharge rate and groundwater resources are expected to be exhausted within the next 50 years. To reduce its reliance on groundwater and desalinated water, the Emirate plans to increase the use of TWW for agriculture. The main challenge is how to do this without endangering citizens’ health or the environment. In response to this challenge, the project strengthened the capabilities of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority ADFCA in the safe reuse of TWW for agriculture through the improved monitoring of treated sewage effluent.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    The wealth of waste
    The economics of wastewater use in agriculture
    2010
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    The use of reclaimed water in agriculture is an option that is increasingly being investigated and taken up in regions with water scarcity, growing urban populations and growing demand for irrigation water. This report presents an economic framework for the assessment of the use of reclaimed water in agriculture, as part of a comprehensive planning process in water resource allocation strategies to provide for a more economically efficient and sustainable water utilization. Many region s of the world are experiencing growing water stress. This arises from a relentless growth of demand for water in the face of static, or diminishing, supply and periodic droughts due to climatic factors. Water stress is also caused by pollution from increasing amounts of wastewater from expanding cities, much of it only partially treated, and from the contamination of aquifers from various sources. Such water pollution makes scarcity worse by reducing the amount of freshwater that is safe to use. Water scarcity in all its aspects has serious economic, social and even political costs. At times of serious scarcity, national authorities are inclined to divert water from farmers to cities since water has a higher economic value in urban and industrial use than for most agricultural purposes. In these circumstances, the use of reclaimed water in agriculture enables freshwater to be exchanged for more economically and socially valuable purposes, whilst providing farme rs with reliable and nutrient-rich water. This exchange also has potential environmental benefits, reducing the pollution of wastewater downstream and allowing the assimilation of its nutrients into plants. Recycling water can potentially offer a “triple dividendâ€Â - to urban users, farmers and the environment. Reclaimed water use can help to mitigate the damaging effects of local water scarcity.
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    Project
    Unlocking the Potential of Treated Wastewater and Drainage Water Use for Agricultural Development in North Africa - TCP/SNE/3701 2022
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    Concerns over water scarcity and severe water supply shortages are driving governments to find alternative solutions, including the development of non conventional water resources In this context, the application of non conventional waters ( has the potential to help countries meet increasing water demands, particularly during years of drought Moreover, through proper planning and management, NCW reuse schemes offer economic and environmental benefits In Maghreb countries, both treated wastewater ( and drainage water ( present opportunities for the development of NCW systems Notably, the total volume of wastewater produced in Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia amounts to 2 33 billion cubic metres per year (FAO AQUASTAT) However, only half of the wastewater produced in the Near East and North Africa region is collected While the international community recognizes that the application of TWW can serve as an important resource for agriculture, much work is still needed to advance national policies on the matter, as well as to implement relevant safe use guidelines and practices This project was designed to support Maghreb countries with information and technical knowledge for developing TWW and DW into promising alternative sources of irrigation water This was achieved through the adoption of a holistic regional approach, by addressing technology gaps, and by ensuring the economic feasibility of interventions.

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