Decentralised collection, treatment and effective reuse of wastewater
Title: Decentralised wastewater management as a measure for climate change adaptation
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Water and Irrigation
Overall term: 2014 to 2021
Jordan ranks as one of the most water-deprived countries in the world. Strong population growth, economic development and regional migration – especially as a result of the Syrian refugee crisis – are putting increasing pressure on water resources. At the same time, Jordan is greatly affected by climate change. The available water resources therefore have to be used as efficiently as possible: one possibility is to reuse treated wastewater.
Currently, only around two thirds of households are connected to the sewage system. There is therefore significant potential in decentralised wastewater management targeted towards reuse, particularly in areas that cannot be connected to central sewage plants cost-effectively. With decentralised solutions, the wastewater in these areas can be treated and reused locally. However, Jordanian actors still lack the knowledge and skills needed to do so, and both social acceptance and the framework conditions also have to be enhanced.
Actors in the water sector increasingly incorporate strategies for decentralised collection, treatment and reuse of wastewater into national framework plans. They implement appropriate measures and are familiar with operator models for decentralised wastewater management.
The project is helping the Jordanian partner institutions to develop and implement strategies for decentralised wastewater treatment and the efficient use of available water resources. The project focuses on climate change adaptation, reuse of treated wastewater, and the development of suitable operator models. The German non-governmental organisation BORDA is helping to carry out various activities as the cooperation partner. The Jordanian consulting firm Al-Lamar is providing support with the implementation of infrastructure measures. The German state of North Rhine-Westphalia finances some of the project activities as part of the German Government and federal state programme.
The project supports the Ministry of Water and Irrigation as well as the Water Authority of Jordan in developing concepts for decentralised wastewater management, integrating these concepts into the national water strategy and implementing them.
In the Dana biosphere reserve, a holistic concept for regional treatment and reuse of the wastewater from an ecolodge is being implemented. The semi-public lodge owner and the private operator are being trained in operation and maintenance.
In northern Jordan, the project is trialling an innovative procedure for treating sewage sludge. Here, too, the plant operator is being trained in operation and maintenance to ensure sustainability.
All pilot projects showcase adapted technologies for decentralised wastewater management as well as for nature-based and low-maintenance treatment of sewage sludge. They thus pave the way for the introduction of innovative management models.
In addition to the pilot activities, the project carries out various measures to improve the skills and performance of the actors in the Jordanian wastewater sector, including summer schools, e-learning courses and workshops. The project is also raising awareness of the topic of wastewater reuse through targeted measures, such as the creation of a short film.
So far, a small sewage treatment plant with a reuse system has been constructed for an ecolodge. The demonstration project was a key criterion in the decision to award climate-related accolades at the World Responsible Tourism Awards. An innovative sewage sludge treatment system is currently under construction.
The project has used various activities to familiarise the Jordanian actors with issues such as how to create favourable overall conditions for decentralised wastewater management. The training requirements were analysed in advance.
Strategy papers have been drawn up on adaptation to climate change through decentralised wastewater management. In addition, the project has supported the development of a national strategy for decentralised wastewater management. Various awareness-raising measures have been implemented, including the creation of a short film.