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Delft University of Technology (2004)

Incentive systems for wastewater treatment and reuse in irrigated agriculture in the MENA region : evidence from Jordan and Tunisia

ABU MADI Maher Omar Rushdi

Titre : Incentive systems for wastewater treatment and reuse in irrigated agriculture in the MENA region : evidence from Jordan and Tunisia

Auteur : ABU MADI Maher Omar Rushdi

Université de soutenance : Delft University of Technology

Grade : Doctor 2004

Résumé
As a result of chronic water scarcity, the countries of the MENA region (Middle East and Northern Africa) recognize reclaimed wastewater as a non-conventional water resource. Nonetheless, in this region, substantial amounts of the wastewater that are collected are still discharged into the sea or water courses without treatment. Moreover, most of the treated wastewater is not re-used but discharged. The objective of this research is to analyze the technological, regulatory, institutional, financial, and socio-cultural opportunities (incentives) and constraints (disincentives) that influence the adoption of wastewater treatment and reuse for agricultural irrigation in the MENA region based on the experiences of Jordan and Tunisia. A fieldwork was conducted in Jordan and Tunisia to collect data on wastewater treatment, agricultural irrigation with the reclaimed wastewater, and crop marketing and consumption. The data collection in the two countries targeted 72 administrators, 31 wastewater treatment plants, 104 farmers and their irrigated farms, 326 households, and 3 crop markets. Though Jordan and Tunisia have made great strides in raising the proportion of reused wastewater, their Wastewater Reuse Index (WRI) (which measures the actual reuse rate over the potential one) is still only 27.8 and 12.7, respectively. The lack of an integrated wastewater management and reuse policy, and the poor coordination between bureaucracies are major hurdles. Different from the expectation, farmers and customers alike are relatively well prepared to use reclaimed wastewater in irrigation, and to buy crops from these fields. However, to raise the WRI, the economic and marketing dimensions of reuse should be better recognized. Notably, pure freshwater should be priced higher and reflect its true scarcity, thus creating a stronger incentive for farmers to buy the reclaimed wastewater. Similarly, better crop market transparency and regulation would increase the confidence of the consumer and remove a disincentive to buy such crops.

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Page publiée le 4 avril 2008, mise à jour le 11 décembre 2016