Reuse of Wastewater in Mediterranean Region, Egyptian Experience

[Reuse of Wastewater in Mediterranean Region, Egyptian Experience]

Water scarcity in the Mediterranean region is one of the most seriousissues. A number of reasons are behind this situation, which include, but are notrestricted to, the relatively uneven distribution of precipitation, high temperatures,increased demands for irrigation water, and impacts of tourism. Climate change is expected to aggravate the situation even more. The use of wastewater is one of the most sustainable alternatives to cope with water shortage. It would have a numberof advantages that include closing the gap between supply and demand, stoppingthe pollution of fresh water resources, providing sound solution to water scarcityand climate change, and helping to achieve Millennium Development Goals. WithEgypt, trying to cope with water shortage issues, The Ministry of Water Resources,MWRI has developed a NationalWater Resources Plan, with wastewater reuse as acentral mechanism. At present, there are more than 200 wastewater treatment plantsin the country. Urban coverage of improved sanitation gradually increased from45% in 1993 to 56% in 2004. In contrast, rural sanitation coverage remainsincredibly low at 4%. The low coverage, in combination with a sub-optimaltreatment, results in some problems of water pollution and degradation of healthconditions because the majority of villages and rural areas discharge their rawdomestic wastewater directly into the waterways. Drainage water reuse is practicedon a very large scale. The official reuse of agricultural drainage water in irrigationamounted to 4.84 km3/year in 2001. The present aim of the Government of Egypt isto reuse up to 8 km3/year in new reclamation areas in the near future.Meanwhile, ElSalam canal, one of the mega projects in Egypt is transferring a mix of fresh Nilewater and wastewater to Sinai, to irrigate thousands of newly reclaimed areas.

Suez Canal University

Language: Inglés

Format: PDF

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