Challenges to treated wastewater reuse in arid and semi arid areas

Mizyed's picture
Journal Title, Volume, Page: 
Environmental Science & Policy 25 (pp 186-195), Elsevier.
Year of Publication: 
Numan Mizyed
An-Najah National University, Nablus, West Bank, Occupied Palestinian Territory
Current Affiliation: 
Civil Engineering Department, Faculty Of Engineering, An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine
Preferred Abstract (Original): 
This paper evaluates technical, legal, social and economic challenges facing treated wastewater in the West Bank as an example of arid and semi-arid areas. Although treated wastewater reuse is recognized as a strategic option in augmenting agricultural water supplies in arid and semi-arid areas, there are many challenges that face the utilization. Legal challenges include adopting relevant and appropriate standards for reuse, which could be implemented at the farm level. Social and economic considerations should be considered in developing reuse options and strategies. In the West Bank, treated wastewater reuse standards and guidelines have been adopted. Field surveys and interviews with farmers showed that farmers are willing to irrigate many crops utilizing treated wastewater. However, this study shows that there are discrepancies between what farmers are willing to implement and what planners and policy makers would recommend. Farmers indicated a good understanding of the technical solutions on how to make treated reuse safe and technically sound. However, emphases on social and economic implications are highly essential for the success of reuse. Surveys of farmers showed that they need to understand and know the economic costs, returns and benefits of the different qualities of treated wastewater (TWW) to select appropriate reuse alternatives. Therefore, public awareness campaigns are highly needed to address the legal, social, economic and institutional consideration for TWW reuse. Participation of farmers in developing guidelines, standards, policies and plans for agricultural reuse is very important for the sustainability of treated wastewater reuse.