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Identification and Removal of Bottlenecks for extended Use of Wastewater for Irrigation or for other Purposes

rapport Apr 2009 ; 57 pages
Ed. AHT GROUP AG - Essen Commission Européenne - Bruxelles EU - Beirut
Téléchargeable sous format: PdF (570 ko)
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The Republic of Lebanon is situated on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea with a total area of 10,500 km². The country is characterized by its specific topographic and climatic features. A Mediterranean climate prevails in the coastal zones accompanied by sufficient precipitation, while, divided by the Mount Lebanon mountain chain, the Beqaa plateau is characterized by a desert climate. The majority (80%) of the population (4.8 million) lives in the urbanized coastal strip. The population growth rate is estimated at 1.15% per year. The Lebanese economy is dominated by the service sector contributing 75% to the GDP of USD 24 billion. About 25% of the total area (248,000 ha) is used for agriculture, but its share at the GDP is only 5%. The agricultural production focuses on fruit trees and is concentrated on the Beqaa plateau, which stands for 42% of the cultivated land.
Compared to other countries in the Middle East, Lebanon has a relatively favourable position regarding its water resources due to its positive water balance. There are projections indicating a water deficit within the next 20 years, but already today there are seasonal and location specific water deficits. The average annual precipitations of 840 mm result in an exploitable water supply of 2,000 Mm³. Almost 80% of all households are connected to a water supply network, but water supply is irregular. For that reason, most households have private wells. Total water demand amounts to 1,257 Mm³, out of which 64% are used for irrigation and 26% to satisfy the domestic demand. Projections for 2030 indicate that domestic water demand will exceed the agricultural demand due to population increase and increased per capita consumption. The agricultural production in Beqaa requires 412 Mm³ of irrigation water. The core problem of the Lebanese water sector is incomplete wastewater collection and insufficient wastewater treatment. Estimates of 2001 assume that 249 Mm³ of domestic wastewater and 43 Mm³ of industrial wastewater are generated. The majority is discharged without any prior treatment either into the sea or into open water bodies. There are around 53 sea outfalls, but no information about outflow volumes is available.
Although 67% of all households have access to wastewater collection systems, the treatment capacity and performance of wastewater treatment plants is insufficient. There are a high number of incomplete, abandoned, and not properly functioning wastewater treatment plants. Countrywide, only two large-scale WWTP and a few small-scale WWTPs are functional. Their design capacity is 77 Mm³ allowing the treatment of only 31% of the generated domestic wastewater, but only primary treatment is provided. At present, there are five new medium- and large-scale wastewater treatment plants constructed, but not operational. In addition, there are about 40 small-scale plants in rural areas. Due to low performance of the wastewater treatment plants the described design capacity is not applicable and the share of treated wastewater available for reuse is significantly low. There are efforts of the Lebanese Government and international institutions to rehabilitate existing and construct new wastewater collection and treatment facilities.
It is estimated that at present less than 1 Mm³ of treated wastewater are reused for irrigation, but to an unknown extent raw wastewater is used directly or indirectly for irrigation. So far, a controlled wastewater reuse is non-existent in Lebanon.


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Mots clefs:

eaux usées (réutilisation) (CI) (DT) (OP) , irrigation (CI) (DT) (OP)

Pays concerné:

Liban (CI) (DT) (OP)


AHT GROUP AG - Essen - Allemagne

Commission Européenne - Bruxelles - Belgique

EU - Délégation de l'Union Européenne - Beirut - Liban

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