Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia belong to some of the most water-scarce regions in the world. In addition to this, they face high population growth, accompanied by increased rates of water consumption due to urbanisation and expansion in agriculture. All four countries have gradually invested in wastewater treatment plants, but still lack infrastructures to treat the amount of wastewater produced, especially in rural areas. Besides the collection and treatment of wastewater, other major challenges include connecting the population to sewerage systems, and the installation of sanitation facilities in public buildings and private households. The countries have already adopted policies and plans to improve the situation of wastewater treatment and to make better use of non-conventional water resources. However, the practical implementation of these policies is often still lacking.
Against this background, the project Sustain Water MED implemented pilot projects with the aim of demonstrating the potential of integrated wastewater management, including decentralised treatment systems, ecological sanitation, and water reuse. More specifically, Sustain Water MED seeks to demonstrate effective and cost-efficient wastewater management, treatment technologies, and reuse practices through four pilot projects implemented in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia.
The main objective of this Compendium is to present these four pilot projects in greater detail, and more specifically to:
- describe the local challenges faced, starting from the context of each project, the technologies chosen to overcome these specific challenges, and the respective project realisation in terms of institutional structure;
- present potential benefits and risks in terms of environmental and socio-economic effects, as well as specific lessons learned from each pilot project;
- draw overall lessons learned from project implementation, considering all four pilot projects in terms of challenges and good practices;
- formulate recommendations for policy-makers on how to create an enabling environment for integrated wastewater management and reuse in the Mediterranean.