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Wageningen Universiteit (2002)

Treated sewagewater use in irrigated agriculture : theoretical design of farming systems in Seil Al Zarqa and the Middle Jordan Valley in Jordan

Duqqah, M.M.

Titre : Treated sewagewater use in irrigated agriculture : theoretical design of farming systems in Seil Al Zarqa and the Middle Jordan Valley in Jordan

Auteur : Duqqah, M.M. 

Université de soutenance : Wageningen Universiteit

Grade : Doctor Thesis 2002

Présentation
Most of Jordan is arid and water resources are limited. This situation becomes more acute the more Jordan develops. New techniques in agriculture, industry and the domestic sector place an increasing demand upon clean and safe water. Good-quality water is hardly available. Unconventional water sources, including treated sewagewater, must be considered as alternative sources. This book focuses on treated sewagewater as a nutrient and water resource for agriculture. We expect that treated sewagewater use in agriculture will minimise farmers’ demand for clean, purified, and therefore expensive, water and for chemical fertilisers.
Treated sewagewater use in agriculture maintains environmental quality. Also other national goals, such as the creation of sustainable agriculture and the protection of scarce water sources, are thus served. Another advantage is the possibility of decreasing the necessary purification level. Costs for treatment, thanks to the role of soil and crops in acting as a bio-filter, will thus decrease. Moreover, using the nutrients present in treated sewagewater may diminish fertilisation costs. But disadvantages should also be considered. Treated sewagewater use in irrigation could be hazardous to the environment, since the influent, and hence the effluent, contains pollutants such as macro-organic matter, trace elements, pathogenic micro-organisms and ions.
Use of treated sewagewater in Jordan is not a new idea. Advantages and disadvantages should be studied. However, what kind of research is then needed ? Most scientific approaches in research are done under objectified, controlled conditions. Such experiments do not reflect the everyday reality of the farmers. Moreover, experimental research in agriculture does not always reflect the interests of Jordanian farmers. Another type of research is therefore needed. We need research that integrates Gamma and Beta sciences, farmers and scientists, and the environment and agricultural production. Prototyping, a mix of experimental farm research and agronomic designing is an answer to those needs. The technique has been used successfully in almost all European countries. The question was therefore, "why not be tested and used in Jordanian conditions" ?
We focused on designing, testing and improving theoretical prototypes of treated sewagewater using farms. A pilot group of six farmers was formed in three different zones of the study area, with a selection of six different crops (Alfalfa, Apricot, Tomato, Cucumber, Onion and Potato). Lessons, methods, techniques and recommendations gained from many experiments done on treated sewagewater use in crop production in Mediterranean countries were integrated and introduced into farming methods. Farmers started the conversion process and learned how to deal with treated sewagewater for irrigation. The purpose of this study is to design treated sewagewater using farms and to teach farmers to rely on their own skills and information. So not only hard knowledge became involved. The training of farmers and the developing of their managerial skills also became part of the problem statement. In particular, we created a situation of farm system research. Farmers had to do the job, facilitated by researchers. Farmer and facilitator tried to find a new balance between economical and socio-environmental goals.

Mots clés : IRRIGATED FARMING / WASTE WATER / WASTE WATER TREATMENT / SALINITY / FARMING SYSTEMS / JORDAN

Résumé

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Page publiée le 17 mars 2006, mise à jour le 3 juin 2022