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Wastewater Reuse in Egypt: Opportunities and Challenges

Professor Dr. Rifaat Abdel Wahaab General Director, Research & Development Holding Company for Water & Wastewater (HCWW) Egypt. Email: [email protected] Dr. Eng.Mohy El-Din Omar Planning Sector Ministry of Water Resources & Irrigation (MWRI) Egypt. Email: [email protected] ABSTRACT Egypt covers a very arid region situated between the Sahara and Arabian deserts. Egypt is extremely dependent on the River Nile, being the most downstream country in the Nile basin. 97% of the population lives on 4% of the land of Egypt, around the river Nile. The most pressing challenge facing water resources development in Egypt are rapid growth and unbalanced distribution of the population, rapid urbanization, water quality deterioration, government`s policy to reclaim new land, and unsustainable water use practices. Now Egypt is reaching its limits of available water and this will not be possible anymore and Egypt will have to face variable supply conditions. It is worth mentioning that the availability of renewable water resources in Egypt has dropped from 2189 m3/capita/year in 1966 to 1035 m3/capita/year in 1990. At present population growth rate, this will drop even further to 536 m3.capita/year by the year 2025, if the share of Egypt from Nile waters remains as it is today (55.5 BCM) and levels of per capita consumption are maintained. Various demands for freshwater are exerting excessive pressure on the available water supply. The government of Egypt is committed to develop and manage its water resources in the interests of all Egyptians by reforming the water and wastewater sector. The change concerned institutional and financial aspects. Thus, a Holding Company for Water and Wastewater (HCWW) along with its 23 subsidiary companies was established in 2004 by a presidential decree to develop and implement a holistic policy, which includes expansion of the service delivery, the introduction of modern technology in operations and maintenance as well as management, and increasing the private sector participation in activities which are not core to its mission. Between 2005 and 2009, about 50 billion Egyptian Pounds (around 9 billion US dollars) were invested in the water and wastewater sectors. The Government of Egypt has also assigned 5 billion Egyptian Pounds (around 0.9 billion US dollars) for networks' rehabilitation projects over the coming five years. The capacity of wastewater treatment plants has increased by more than six times in the last two decades. Use of treated wastewater has become increasingly important in water resources management for both environmental and economic reasons. Wastewater use in Egypt is an old practice. It has been used since 1930 in sandy soil areas like Al Gabal Al


Asfar and Abou Rawash, near Cairo. Interest in the use of treated wastewater, as a substitute for fresh water in irrigation, has accelerated since 1980. Currently, 0.7 BCM/yr of treated wastewater is being used in irrigation, of which 0.26 BCM is undergoing secondary treatment and 0.44 BCM undergoing primary treatment. In general, treated wastewater use is of tremendous potential importance for Egypt. The agricultural sector is the highest freshwater consumer, utilizing about 86% of the available supplies. The drainage water from agriculture and the effluents from municipalities and industries are collected, transported and reused by an extensive drainage network which is managed and planned by the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation. Reuse of drainage water has already been practiced at a larger scale during the last decades, whereby water from main drains is pumped into main canals. Currently about 5.5 Billion Cubic Meters (BCM) of drainage water are being reused after mixing with fresh water. This amount is expected to increase up to 9.6 BCM by the year 2017. Reuse of drainage water in the Nile Delta started as early as 1930s. Total number of official reuse pumping stations is 21 stations. 2.0 Billion Cubic Meters (BCM) of unofficial reuse is taking place in many locations. Laws and decrees have been issued including guidelines for mixing drainage water with fresh water, regulations for sewage and industrial effluents, wastewater reuse, cropping patterns, and health protection measures & standards specifications. However, the major problem lies in weak regulatory compliance and enforcement. Keywords: Wastewater, drainage water, reuse, Egypt.


1.1. INTRODUCTION Water is becoming an increasingly scarce resource in arid and semi-arid countries and planners are forced to consider any source of water that might be used economically and effectively to meet increasing demands for water. Whenever good quality water is scarce, water of marginal quality will have to be considered for use in agriculture and groundwater recharge. During recent years, the methodology for managing the reuse of wastewater has shifted from conventional disposal strategies into value added products. With the increase of wastewater reuse for different purposes, concerns over the environmental and health implications of this reuse have also increased. Water is the fundamental element for sustainable and integrated development in Egypt. Horizontal expansion in agriculture is connected to the country`s ability to provide the water required for that expansion. Moreover, the economics of water use and its future on the long run require searching for alternatives and determining the water resources available at present and additional resources we can obtain in the future. The water sector in Egypt is facing many challenges including water scarcity and deterioration of water quality because of population increase and lack of financial resources. Fragmentation of water management and lack of awareness about water challenges are also a problem. Further, more technical and financial assistances might


be essential at this stage for numerous ambitious programs. The national water balance prepared for Egypt indicated that there was an overall deficit of approximately 8 billion m3. This shortage was compensated for by raising the efficiency of available water resources utilization through reuse of drainage water and the use of ground water. 1.2. WATER RESOURCES IN EGYPT Egypt is an arid country facing challenges due to its limited water resources. Nonconvention sources exist to meet part of the country`s water requirements. Agriculture is the largest water consumer in Egypt with its share exceeding 80­85% of the total demand for water. Sustainable agriculture strongly depends on the country`s ability to conserve and manage its water resources. Available water resources are: Convention water resources, including: Nile River--55.5 BCM/year by agreement with Sudan in 1959 Rainfall and flash flood harvesting, estimated at about 1.0 BCM/year Possible desalination of sea water, estimated at about 0.03 BCM/year Deep groundwater extraction could be increased from 0.57 to 3.50 BCM/year up to the year 2017 Shallow groundwater extraction in the Nile Valley and the Delta could be increased from 4.80 to 7.50 BCM/year by the year 2017. Non-convention resources, including: Agricultural drainage water reuse could be increased from 4.7 to 9.0 BCM/year by 2017 Reuse of treated wastewater could be increased from 0.70 to 2.97 BCM/year by 2017.

Figure (1) Water Resources in Egypt


The present per capita water share is below 1,000 m3/year (see Fig. 2) and it might reach 600 m3/year in the year 2025, which would indicate water scarcity (water scarcity level starts at 1,000 m3/year). In addition, rapid degradation in surface and groundwater quality results in less water being available for different uses. In a nutshell, the strategic problem Egypt confronts is that its renewable water supplies cannot be expanded (and with the quality issues mentioned above, available water suitable for some purposes may in fact decline), while at the same time population is growing and the economy is expanding, with associated increases in water requirements. By 2017, the National Water Resource Plan estimates that total water requirements will exceed 90 BCM.

To cover the growing shortfall, the Plan calls for increased use of fossil desert aquifers ­ rising from 0.9 BCM in 1997 to 4 BCM in 2017. Still, the bulk of the increase in requirements will need to be accommodated by more wastewater reuse For that, there are both pluses and minuses. 1.3. WATER SUPPLY AND SANITATION IN EGYPT: EXISTING SITUATION Egypt is facing a number of environmental challenges mainly because of rapid population growth and the necessity for extensive development to meet the needs of the growing population. This has placed pressure on natural resources following expansion in industrial, agricultural, and tourism activities. Consequently, Egypt has directed significant concern to resolve the pressing environmental problems by taking several measures ­ including ratifying various international environmental


conventions and treaties ­ that are to be harmonized into the national legislative framework. In 2000, Egypt agreed to achieve the MDG by the year 2015. As indicated in the fourth follow-up report on achieving the MDGs for Egypt, at the national level, Egypt is on the right track to realizing most of the MDGs by the set date of 2015, but regional disparities still need to be adequately addressed. Egypt is making significant strides towards achieving these MDGs starting from the National Environmental Action Plan (2002­2017) which emphasizes the changes needed in the areas of water, sanitation, energy, and biodiversity. Egypt has taken serious steps towards achieving the MDG by investing heavily in the water sector, through major irrigation projects, drinking water supply, and sanitation infrastructure. It has also played a central role in cooperating with other Nile riparian countries on water resources. The MDGs call for halving the proportion of people without access to improved sanitation or water by 2015. In this regard, drinking water in Egypt is well supplied with a high rate of satisfaction of the demand, reaching 100% in urban and rural areas (Fig. 3a). The per capita share of service increased from 130 l/day for drinking water in 1982 to 275 l/day in 2004. According to the data published by the Cabinet Information and Decision Support Center, the total installed capacity of drinking water treatment plants is 24 million m3/day in 2010. In rural Egypt, problems of low continuity or reliability of piped water supply can be found. Sanitation services in Egypt are less developed than water supply services. At present, there are more than 323 wastewater treatment plants in the country. The capacity of wastewater treatment plants has increased by 10 times in the last two decades. The existing capacity of 12 million m3/day. Length of wastewater collection networks / sanitation pipelines increased from 28,000 km in 2005 to 34,000 km in 2010. Urban coverage with improved sanitation gradually increased from 45% in 1993 to 56% in 2004, reaching 100% in urban and 40% in rural areas by the end of 2012. The low coverage in rural sanitation, in combination with a sub-optimal treatment, results in serious problems of water pollution and degradation of health conditions because the majority of villages and rural areas discharge their raw domestic wastewater directly into the waterways.


Water coverage percentage Wastewater Holding Company for Water and in Egypt

Cities (217)

100% in addition to improving quantity and quality with 40% reserve.

Villages ( 4617)

100% in addition to improving quantity and quality with 40% reserve.






July 2008



July 2008


100% Coverage has been achieved after implementing the urgent plan

Figure (3a) Water Coverage Percentage in Egypt

Capacity Progress of WaterWastewater Holding Company for Water and production in Egypt


Production Capacity MCM/day







This amount exceeds the expected needs by 40% as a reserve value taking into consideration the following Per capita : · Urban = 210 liters/day · Rural = 140 liters/day · Cairo = 490 liters/day · Alex.= 475 liters/day

18 16.4










The added capacity is equivalent to the capacities added in the last ten years

Figure (3b) Water Production in Egypt


Wastewater coverage percentage Holding Company for Water and Wastewater in Egypt

Cities (217) Villages ( 4617)

100% By the end of the on going projects 100 %

56 % 11% By the end of the

on going projects



2004 2012





The GOE has allocated 20 billions to cover the demands for 1000 villages of high priority through the current five-years plan. five-

Figure (3c) Wastewater Coverage Percentage in Egypt

Wastewater treatment plants

Capacity MCM/day

Capacity Progress of Holding Company for Water and Wastewater

20 20

15 12 11 10 8 9








The target capacity of the current plan is equivalent to three times the sum of the three previous plans

Figure (3d) Capacity of Wastewater Treatment Plants


Unfortunately, the story is not so positive for rural areas which need more intensive programs and policies in order to reach the MDG target. However, recent figures from the 2010 Population Census reveal a decrease in coverage. Therefore, in spite of continuous government efforts to extend water service to all urban and rural population, the service does not catch up with rapid population growth, and hence service coverage is worsening. Though the access level still meets the 2015 target, the challenge facing the government is to sustain it. Moreover, these figures do not reveal the disparities that exist between governorates. However, the Government of Egypt has made a significant effort towards providing sanitary and wastewater services for its people. Domestic and municipal wastewater collection (sewerage systems) and treatment facilities are limited to the main urban centers. Highest coverage was in the larger urban conglomerates: Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, and the Canal Cities. Towards 2017, the coverage rate is expected to increase significantly in areas outside these large urban areas. The low coverage, in combination with sub-optimal treatment, results in severe water quality problems around municipal areas. It is worth mentioning that environmental problems related to municipal wastewater in rural Egypt are mainly due to fact that sanitation services lag behind water supply services by more than 10 years. Therefore, comparing with the progress in supplying drinking water in Egypt, the achievement in targeted sanitation level are less in spite of massive investment diverted towards establishment of sanitation systems. The cost of providing sanitation services differs from town to town and from country to another. However, according to the obtained information's, the average cost of treating one cubic meter sewage water in Egypt is almost 5000 L.E. which is about $840 before final discharge. Operation and maintenance cost (O&M) is at 15% of investment cost. 1.4. USE OF TREATED WASTEWATER IN IRRIGATION Treated wastewater (after primary treatment) has been in use since 1911 in agriculture (Gabal Al Asfar farm: 3,000 feddans). Yet, experience of large scale, planned and regulated reuse project is still limited. Large scale pilot projects (167,000 feddans) are in East Cairo, Abu Rawash, Sadat City, Luxor, and Ismailia. In the mean time, most of the sewage water drained to the agricultural drains is actually reused in one way or another (indirect reuse). Egypt has adopted a policy of wastewater reclamation and reuse in irrigated agricultural land to alleviate the pressure imposed by increasing demands on freshwater resources. It is becoming part of integrated water resources management policy The Egyptian water strategy comprises the treatment and reuse of treated wastewater. Treatment of domestic wastewater is either primary or secondary. Currently, Egypt produces an estimated 5.5­6.5 billion cubic meters (BCM) a year of wastewater. Of that amount, about 2.97 BCM/year is treated, but only 0.7 BCM/year is utilized for agriculture (0.26 BCM is undergoing secondary treatment and 0.44 BCM undergoing


primary treatment), mainly in direct reuse in desert areas or indirect reuse through mixing with agricultural drainage water. In 14 governorates and 2 districts, with 80,000 feddan of marginal desert land allocated, 63 forests are growing that are irrigated with the effluents of WWTPs whose designed daily discharge is about 1.9 million m3/day. The cultivated area is about 12,000 feddan and the fallow land area is about 68,000 feddan. The Holding Company for Water and Wastewater (HCWW) is preparing the necessary measures to float the tender for these fallow areas. An overview of the wastewater reuse Marginal Desert Lands is presented Tables (1a,b)

Table (1a) An overview of the wastewater reuse Marginal Desert Lands


Table (1b) Status of Manmade Forests Irrigated with Wastewater

Egyptian Sesban growing in El Hebeil consigned land, Luxor Governorate and Samples of manufactured fiberboard of different thicknesses, Deshna Factory, Qena,Egypt


1.5. WASTEWATER TREATMENT TECHNOLOGIES Wastewater treatment systems were first developed in response to the adverse conditions caused by the discharge of raw effluents to water bodies. With this approach, treatment aimed at the removal of biodegradable organic compounds, suspended and floatable material, nutrients and pathogens. However, the criteria for wastewater treatment intended for reuse in irrigation differ considerably. While it is intended that pathogens are removed to the maximum extent possible, some of the biodegradable organic matter and most of the nutrients available in the raw wastewater need to be maintained. There is a vast array of treatment technologies that can be applied for wastewater treatment and use. Generally speaking, treatment technologies can be grouped into either: On­site treatment or Treatment at a central plant. Criteria Affecting System Selection The main controlling parameters that affect one technology, if compared to the others are: · Availability of land · Availability of skilled labor · Availability of O&M finance · Availability of power supply · Performance efficiency · Capital and operational costs. 1.6. Technology Options There is a wide range of innovative sanitation technologies to choose from: · · · In some cases it may be preferable not to install sewers, but to continue to use existing on-site sanitation technologies such as cesspools and septic tanks. In other cases, sewers may be installed only for a block of houses connected to a communal septic tank. Under certain circumstances, however, the high-cost solution of connecting to a citywide sewerage network is the only feasible technical solution.

1.6.1. Selection of an effective treatment system The first issue to be addressed when planning sanitation should be to decide whether a drainage system and a collective treatment plant will be constructed or wastewater treated will be treated using on-site facilities. Towns and cities are, of course, equipped with sewers and collective treatment big plants. Rural areas and city outskirts, on-site sanitation systems are more appropriate. In both cases, a treatment should be performed before disposing of wastewater into the environment, in order to protect streams, lakes, the sea or the groundwater.


The processes applied at central facilities range from relatively low technology systems (usually in the form of waste stabilization ponds where land is available at a reasonable cost) to more advanced treatment systems. It should be noted that a combination of more than one process may be needed to attain the desired wastewater quality, as is commonly recognized in water reuse guidelines and regulations. 1.6.2. Technologies Applied In addition to the conventional wastewater treatment technologies (activated sludge, trickling filter,...etc), implementing of low cost wastewater treatment techniques that can achieve significant microbial decontamination, offer very low O&M costs, and limited sludge production have been applied such as: · · · · · Up flow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket (UASB) Septic Tank / modified septic tank Stabilization Ponds In-stream Wetland System RBC (Rotating Biological Contactor)

In general, secondary treatment is the minimum standard of treatment needed for most agricultural wastewater use schemes. The challenge facing decision makers is therefore, to go beyond traditional classification between small, appropriate` and modern/advanced technologies and to develop rural and peri-urban sanitation with a mix of scales, strategies, technologies, payment systems and decision-making structures, that better fits the physical and human systems for which they are designed. This does not mean that the macro-picture should not be considered. On the contrary, the decentralization should take place after an adaptable strategic macro framework has been defined to sketch out the overall direction for sanitation service provision in the project area. Several options have recently been proposed and appear feasible, but necessitate further development. Therefore, the formulation of a National strategy for the use of marginal quality water is of prime importance to protect the health of the people and the environment 1.6.3. Centralized /Decentralized Systems Recent studies indicated that it may not be possible, due to economic reasons, to provide sewerage facilities for all residents of rural and peri-urban areas, either now or in the near future. As a result, the focus of the field of wastewater management should change from the construction and management of regional sewerage systems to the construction and management of decentralized wastewater treatment facilities. Given the fact that in the near future, increasing demands are being made on freshwater supplies, it is clear that decentralized systems, will increase the opportunities for localized reclamation/reuse. Centralized water based sanitation produces wastewater which does not always meet the criteria required for sustainability and environmental security. Unbundling of sanitation projects into smaller-scale projects can bring benefits at an affordable cost to those in greatest need. Unbundling is a way of dividing investments


into more realistic and more manageable components. Decentralized sewerage is an example of horizontal unbundling that is particularly appropriate in areas with flat terrain and high groundwater table like the Delta area in Egypt. Dividing such areas into self-contained zones eliminates the need for expensive pumping stations and interceptor sewers required to serve the whole area with a conventional sewerage system. Therefore, new configurations employing the best practices of sanitation technology for rural areas are therefore needed. 1.7. WHY WASTEWATER REUSE? Water reuse or the recycling of reclaimed wastewater for planned beneficial uses, is emerging as an established water management practice in several water-stressed countries and regions for the following reasons. Compared to freshwater, wastewater has the following benefits and use of treated wastewater (TWW) is an attractive option for several reasons: Prevent surface water pollution, which would occur if the wastewaters were not used but discharged into rivers or lakes Postpone potentially more costly water supply approaches (storage, transfer, or desalination schemes). Eliminate or reduce the need for costly and complicated wastewater treatment processes. In particular the removal of nitrogen and phosphorus is unnecessary The quantity generated will rise with population and increased industrial activity. At the same time, treatment capacity is expected to grow, as is the level of treatment provided. Substituting TWW in applications for which it is adequate serves to reserve higher quality water for uses in which there is no acceptable substitute. Potential non-agricultural uses include industrial cooling; irrigation of public parks, schoolyards, highway medians, and residential landscapes; fire protection; and flushing toilets in commercial and industrial buildings. For agriculture, it can be mixed with fresh water, thereby economizing on the use of the latter, or used to grow non-food crops in currently un- or underutilized desert areas, where it would otherwise serve no useful purpose. Put differently, it enables horizontal expansion with little or no opportunity cost, at least with respect to two key inputs ­ land and water. The nutrients in reclaimed water reduce the need for applying chemical fertilizers, thereby reducing costs and environmental problems associated with run-off of such chemicals. Where well planned, it can serve as an environmentally superior alternative to disposing of wastewater (WW) in the desert, the sea, or other water bodies. It can be used to recharge groundwater, thereby supplementing fresh water supplies for irrigation and other purposes, while at the same time storing water without evaporation losses or the risks associated with dams. Where conditions are appropriate, many contaminants in the effluent, including suspended solids (SS), bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms, nitrogen, phosphorus and heavy metals, are reduced or removed through an inexpensive


process known as Soil Aquifer Treatment (SAT) before it is mixed with the natural groundwater. At the same time, there are risks requiring that the quality of TWW be taken into account in deciding on appropriate uses. Risks may conveniently be classified as follows: Health risks resulting from human exposure to pathogens in un- or inadequately treated WW. Rises occur from irrigation techniques that unnecessarily expose farm workers to the water, or from inadequate labeling, packaging or information about the products produced. These risks affect farm workers, processors of agricultural products produced using WW, and consumers of such products. Contamination of soils and plants through introduction of harmful chemicals. Groundwater pollution from infiltration of contaminated source water.

So, the strategic challenge for Egypt can be restated as follows ­ how can the country avail itself of the considerable potential to use water reuse as a means of bridging a looming, and soon to be yawning, supply/demand chasm, while at the same time avoiding, or at least mitigating, the potentially serious problems that such use can give rise to. 1.8. WASTESWATER REUSE --RELEVANT LAWS AND REGULATIONS & CONCERNED AUTHORITIES 1.8.1. Concerned Authorities There are several ministries and institutes with different roles in the wastewater management and reuse in Egypt. · The Ministry of Land Reclamation and Agriculture manages agricultural aspects. · The Ministry of Housing Utilities and Urban Communities is concerned with the planning and construction of municipal wastewater treatment plants. · The Ministry of Health and Population assumes responsibility for sampling and analysis of all wastewater effluents. It is also responsible for setting water and wastewater quality standards and regulations in addition to its central role as the custodian of public health. · The Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation allocates water for reclamation areas. · The Ministry of the Environment and the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency caters for environmental aspects. · Scientific institutions and universities conduct basic and applied research activities. 1.8.2. Laws and decrees regulating the disposal of wastewater in Egypt as follows: · Law 93/1962 regulates wastewater disposal and designates the responsibility of constructing public wastewater systems to the Ministry of Housing which is also responsible for issuance of permits regulating wastewater discharge into






public sewerage networks or into the environment. The Ministry of Health determines the regulatory standards. Decree No. 649/1962 and Decree No. 9/1989: Decree No. 649/1962 of the Minister of Housing issues the executive regulations of Law 93/1962. It specifies regulatory standards for wastewater disposal. It was updated in 1989 by Decree No. 9/1989 in which a distinction was made between wastewater disposal on sandy soils and clay silt soils. Most prominent conditions included that wastewater treatment plants should be located more than three kilometers from the nearest residential area. Primary treatment was set as a minimum treatment level required before final discharge. Reuse of effluent in the irrigation of vegetables, fruits or any other crops eaten uncooked is strictly prohibited. The same restriction is imposed on grazing of animals or milking cattle on the fields irrigated with wastewater. In 1995 an amendment was made by both the Ministry of Irrigation and the Ministry of Agriculture and approved by the Ministry of Health. Nonetheless, it has not yet been issued by the Minister of Housing. This amendment determined the minimum degree required for wastewater treatment for the various reuse aspects. Tertiary treatment was set as prerequisite for unrestricted irrigation of crops eaten uncooked. Secondary treated effluents may be reused for irrigating palm trees, cotton flux, jute, cereals, forage crops, flower nurseries and thermally processed vegetables and fruits. Law 48/1982 was passed for the protection of the River Nile and watercourses from pollution. Decree 8/1983 is an executive regulation of Law 48/1982 that was issued by the Minister of Irrigation. Under this law discharges to the Nile, canals, drains and groundwater are controlled through licensing. The Ministry of Public Works and Water Resources issues licenses to industries, sanitary sewage treatment plants and riverboats. Licenses are issued provided that discharges satisfy regulatory standards and requirements. A grace period of three months is granted to violators to comply with the requirements. Failure to comply can mean withdrawal of the license. The Ministry of Public Works and Water Resources is empowered with administrative and policing means to enforce this law. The Ministry of the Interior`s water surfaces police have also powers to ensure its implementation. The Ministry of Health is entrusted with setting standards and monitoring the quality of discharges. Water quality standards in this law are specified for various categories that include the River Nile, treated industrial effluent to the Nile and canals, treated industrial and sanitary water discharge to drains, lakes and ponds, treated discharge from river vessels to the Nile and canals and drain waters to be mixed with the Nile or canals. Law 4 of 1994--Environmental Framework Law by the Minister of State for Environmental Affairs (MSEA). In Law 4 it is stated that all facilities discharging to surface water are required to obtain a license and maintain a register indicating the impact of the establishment`s activity on the environment. The register should include data on emissions, efficiency and outflow from treatment units and periodic measurements. Decree No. 603/ 2002--Decision of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation for the restriction of the use of wastewater in the agricultural sector. It prohibits the use of wastewater, whether treated or untreated, for irrigating traditional field crops. Irrigation is




only used in the limited cultivation of trees for timber and ornamental trees, taking into account the measures to protect the health of workers in agriculture when using this type of water. Decree No. 1038/2009--Decision of the Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation to prohibit the use of wastewater, whether treated or untreated, for the irrigation of all food crops. No permission to own new lands would be approved, unless the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation (MWRI) confirmed the existence and suitability of a source of irrigation. Other pertinent laws include Law 12/1984 that regulates the authority of the Ministry of Public Works and Water Resources as the custodian of all water resources.

1.8.3. Egyptian Code for the Reuse of treated Wastewater in Agriculture (501/2005) The Ministry of Housing, Utilities, and New Communities, supported by seven technical committees, issued the Code for the Reuse of Treated Wastewater in Agriculture (hereafter, the Code). The Code stipulates exact requirements in planning and approval procedures, responsibilities, permitted use according to effluent quality, and monitoring. The Code regulates only the direct use of wastewater, not the wastewater discharged into drains. According to the Code, the reuse of treated wastewater--irrespective of the treatment level--is prohibited for the production of vegetables, whether eaten raw or cooked; export-oriented crops (i.e. cotton, rice, onions, potatoes, and medicinal and aromatic plants); as well as citrus fruit trees; and irrigating school gardens. Restrictions are in place for type of crops, irrigation methods, and health precautions. The existing reuse schemes are operated by public institutions, mainly ministries such as the Ministry of Housing, Utilities, and New Communities, MALR, and MSEA. Plants and crops irrigated with treated wastewater are classified into three agricultural crop groups that correspond to three different levels of wastewater treatment. Biological and chemical standards for these three levels of treatment are set as well. The Code further stipulates conditions for irrigation methods and health protection measures for farm workers, consumers, and those living on neighboring farms.

The Code classifies wastewater into three grades (designated A, B, and C) as follows, depending on the level of treatment it has received, and specifies the maximum concentrations of specific contaminants consistent with each grade., and the crops that can, and importantly cannot, be irrigated with each grade of treated wastewater. (Tables 2 & 3) Grade A is advanced, or tertiary, treatment that can be attained through upgrading the secondary treatment plants (i.e. Grade B plants) to include sand filtration, disinfection and other processes.


Grade B represents secondary treatment performed at most facilities serving Egyptian cities, townships and villages. It is undertaken by any of the following techniques: activated sludge, oxidation ditches, trickling filters, and stabilization ponds. Grade C is primary treatment that is limited to sand and oil removal basins and use of sedimentation basins.

Table (2) Limit values for Treated Wastewater Reused in Agriculture (mg/l)

Table (3) Classification of Plants and Crops Irrigable with Treated Wastewater

1.9. DISTRIBUTION OF FOREST TREES IRRIGATED WITH WASTEWATER Egypt, with land extending about one million square kilometers under arid and hyper arid climatic conditions, is endowed with varied agro-ecological zones with specific attributes of resource base, climatic features, terrain and geomorphic characteristics,


land use patterns and socio-economic implications. The zones could be identified as follows: North Coastal Belts: including North West coastal areas and Northern areas of Sinai. The Nile Valley: encompassing the fertile alluvial land of Upper Egypt, the Delta and the reclaimed desert areas in the fringes of the old valley. The Oases and Southern Remote Desert Areas: including East Owaynat, Toushki, and Darb El Arbien Areas and Oases of the old Nile valley The Desert Inland: including the plateau and dry valleys of Sinai and elevated areas in the Southern Eastern Desert

With an active participation of Egypt, the formulation of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) adopted in Paris in 1994, gave emphasis to combating the major threats to sustainability in countries of dry land. The main objectives of the Convention include the following: Prevention and/or reduction of land degradation. Rehabilitation of partly degraded land. Reclamations of decertified land.

Commitment by parties to UNCCD includes preparing of a National Action Plan (NAP) to combat desertification. According to the convention, NAP should identify the factors contributing to desertification and prescribe the practical measures to combat it. Active factors of desertification and their impact are necessary varied. NAP of Egypt comprised of sub-components, each of which is geared to address the specific attributes of each agro-ecological zone distinguished. Desertification and Man-Made Forests The desertification of irrigated agricultural lands in Egypt with wastewater is the result of various practices. One such practice is that of urban development, and building on fertile agricultural lands. In addition, despoliation of agricultural land through the erosion of the surface layer of the soil, has left the agriculture land infertile and rendered it unsuitable for cultivation. Likewise, the pollution of soil from wastewater, or from the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, and the salinization of agricultural soil are factors contributing to desertification. Egypt is currently witnessing many new projects aimed at expanding the green stretch in the deserts. This is to be achieved by establishing forest plantations, i.e. man-made forests. Man-made forests in Egypt are irrigated by


treated sewage water, resulting in the production of trees with high quality timber. In addition, Egypt has developed, and is currently implementing, a strategy for combating desertification. This includes the establishment of nurseries for the afforestation of new roads, the improvement of existing plantings along roads, and the stabilization of sand dunes through tree planting.

The main objectives of this National Program or NAP are as follows:

Solve the problem of 2.4 billion cubic meter of accumulated wastewater; disposal of such quantity represents a major environmental problem. Benefiting from this huge water quantity and not squandering a water resource that could be exploited economically. Limiting the discharge of wastewater into the River Nile or in seas in order to prevent bacteriological and chemical pollution of water (from heavy elements and harmful organic compounds), and the degradation of fish wealth, river and marine bio-ecological systems. Discharging into open desert also pollutes both surface and deep underground reservoirs. Preventing adverse practices related to the use of untreated wastewater in producing agriculture and food products. Contributing to the provision of health benefits to individuals as a result of eradicating reproduction sources of insects and disease vectors caused by the accumulation of stale wastewater. Transforming an area of 400,000 feddans from desert into ecologically rich areas.


Participating in cleaning air pollutants, adding climate soothing factors in arid and semi-arid areas mostly adjacent to desert boundaries, and protecting cities and housing areas from sand dispersion and dust storms. Participating in restoring the equilibrium of the biosphere components through increasing oxygen quantity and absorbing quantities of carbon dioxide.

Crop/tree species, soil types and irrigation methods for successfully irrigating areas in Egyptian Governorates with treated wastewater in Egypt are indicated in Table ( 4 ). Table (4) Crop/tree species in Egyptian Governorates Irrigated with Treated Wastewater


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1.10. Case Study / Success Story- Jatropha Curcas Cultivation in Egypt Jatropha plantation in Luxor desert, irrigated with wastewater is one of the first Jatropha projects was started in Egypt, not far from Luxor city. It is part of a very large forestation scheme in Egypt. This is due to the relative advantage of planting Jatropha to produce bio-oil in desert lands using treated wastewater. Therefore,


planting Jatropha forests is expanded to Luxor (120 feddans), Sohag (150 feddans), and Suez (400 feddans) as shown in the following pictures.

Training Youth on Producing Jatropha curcas Irrigated by Treated Wastewater

Jatropha plantations project in Luxor desert are completely depending on irrigation with treated wastewater. This is what they receive: (drip irrigation) 10 litres every 20 days in winter. 20 litres every 10 days in summer. Calculated on a 50/50 base, these plants get 456 litre/plant/year. This means, based on a density of 3x3 (1111/ha) 506616 litre per ha, which is 50.6 litre per m2, which is 50,6 mm/m2. This seems very little, but since drip irrigation usually gives you an efficiency of at least 90% over rain or surface irrigation, the 50.6 mm/m2 should be compared with roughly 500 mm rain, which is the absolute minimum. It is worth mentioning that the yield per hectare is up to 5 tons seed given about 1.85 tons of oil in the year. Therefore, the Central Administration for Afforestation at the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation (MOALR) is now taking up cultivation of Jatropha curcas in many sites of the country, especially in the South. 1.11. WASTEWATER REUSE CONSTRAINTS The main constraints facing use of wastewater are: Financial constraints (related e.g. to high costs of treatment systems and sewerage networks, high operational costs especially for electricity, low prices of freshwater compared to reclaimed wastewater, low user willingness to pay for reclaimed wastewater). Health impacts and environmental safety especially linked to soil structure deterioration, increased salinity and excess of nitrogen. Standards and regulations, which are in some cases too strict to be achievable and enforceable and, in other cases, not adequate to deal with certain existing, reuse practices.


Monitoring and evaluation in both treatment and reuse systems, often related to lack of qualified personnel, lack of monitoring equipment or high cost required for monitoring processes. Technical constraints, including, for instance, insufficient infrastructure for collecting and treating wastewater, inappropriate set up of existing infrastructure (not designed for reuse purposes), improper functioning of existing infrastructure. The low coverage with sanitation systems in combination with a sub-optimal treatment, and The implementation of large-scale centralized treatment facilities which produce large amounts of wastewater which in turn cannot be used for irrigation and is often discharged into receiving water bodies. Institutional set-up (especially poor coordination at relevant intra- and intersect oral levels) and lack of appropriate personnel capacity Lack of political commitment and of national policies/strategies to support treatment and reuse of wastewater. Lack of communication and coordination among the many authorities working in wastewater treatment and reuse of treated effluents. Absence of programs to monitor the quality of reclaimed wastewater, before or after reuse, for possible health risks for farm laborers and end users of products. Public acceptance and awareness, related to low involvement and limited awareness of both farmers and consumers of crops grown with reclaimed wastewater (and/or sludge). Consequently, reuse of water is a lost opportunity, as wastewater is either buried away in cesspools, or discharged into receiving water bodies.

It is worth mentioning that in Egypt many people remain suspicious of reuse since they are uncertain of the quality of treated water. Perhaps most importantly, the fact that reclaimed water cannot be used for high-value vegetable crops. It has been indicated that social acceptance, regulations concerning crop choices, and other agronomic considerations strongly influence decisions about water reuse. 1.11. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION (Wastewater Reuse) The use of treated wastewater should be considered an integral component in country`s national water strategic plan. Recent studies indicated that it may not be possible, due to economic reasons, to provide sewerage facilities for all residents of rural and peri-urban areas, either now or in the near future. As a result, the focus of the field of wastewater management should change from the construction and management of regional sewerage systems to the construction and management of decentralized wastewater treatment facilities. Given the fact that in the near future, increasing demands are being made on freshwater supplies, it is clear that decentralized systems, will increase the opportunities for localized reclamation/reuse. Also, the use of anaerobic treatment as a first step offers good potentials for both on-site and off-site sanitation.


Furthermore, anaerobic pre-treatment, complemented by low-cost post-treatment techniques offers cost-effective method for reclaiming domestic wastewater for agricultural production and increases the coverage with appropriate sanitation systems At the same time, experience has shown that only skilled operation, maintenance and control of small treatment plants can guarantee satisfactory performance. Lack of trained operators is often claimed to be the major reason for malfunctioning of small plants. Different approaches are possible to improve the situation by: (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) Applying treatment systems which require low levels of maintenance and control, Enforcing service contracts for regular maintenance by skilled operators and manufactures, Forming an appropriate operator organization and, Establishing regular training programs for plant operators.

In general, Wastes can and must be transformed from a disposal-based linear system to a recovery-based closed-loop system that promotes the conservation of water and nutrient resources and contributes to public health. It is worth mentioning that both the knowledge and the technology that can enable this transformation exist. There is a gap, however, between the current availability of innovative technology and the promotion/financing of demonstration level projects as well as, the development of complementary, socio-economic methodologies to facilitate their implementation in Egypt. It is therefore, recommended to encourage the implementation of demonstration projects for evaluation under local environmental and socio-economic conditions. In conclusion to enhance reuse potential in Egypt, priority actions shall include: separation of industrial effluent disposal systems, provision of adequate treatment facilities to those communities connected to sewer systems, provision of collection stations for the vacuum trucks (rural areas), search for simple low cost treatment technology, horizontal expansion based on reuse of treated sewage, and awareness of the health risks involved with direct or indirect contact with the water.

------------------------About the Author (Wastewater Part I): Dr. Rifaat Abdel Wahaab is Professor of environmental sciences at the National Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt. He began his professional career in industrial pollution and control and since then he has continued to work in diverse areas of environmental management and strategy. He actively managing and participating in many of Egypt`s environmental plans. Dr Rifaat is now the General Director of Research and Development (R&D) at the Holding Company for Water and Wastewater (HCWW), Cairo, Egypt. Dr Rifaat can be reached by e-mail at [email protected], [email protected], (Tel.+2-012 51 87 971).


2. DRAINAGE WATER REUSE 2.1. Drainage Network Agricultural wastewater forms the largest amount of the wastewater in Egypt. It will obviously continue to be the largest during the next decades. The agricultural drainage in Egypt comes from canal ends, leakage from waterways or removal of unused water from agricultural lands by flow over or through the soil. The agricultural drainage water and the effluents from municipalities and industries are collected and transported by an extensive drainage network. This system comprises field drains (open drains or sub-surface drains), collector drains, and main drains which convey the water into irrigation canals and the River Nile where it mixes with fresh water for further downstream use. The drainage system is largely by gravity flow, except for a number of pumping stations in the Northern Delta.

Figure 5. Drainage network in Egypt

Figure 6. Main drainage canals in the Delta


2.2. Types and Volumes Capturing and mixing drainage flow with water of main canals and the River Nile at centralized mixing pump stations is called the official reuse. Another type of official reuse is called the intermediate reuse where the water can be mixed from smaller less polluted drains with lower order irrigation canals. These types of reuse are planned and managed by the ministry of water Resources and Irrigation with good records.

The total amount of official drainage reuse increased from 6.86 billion m3 in 2008 to 6.98 billion m3 in 2010. This amount is expected to increase up to 8.7 billion m3 in 2017. Included in this reuse are a number of gravity feeders from drains to tail ends of irrigation canals in the Middle Delta. Direct pumping of nearby drainage water by individuals` farmers is called the unofficial reuse. It is impossible to measure this type of reuse because of its spontaneous nature, but it is estimated to be about 2.7 billion m3. The unofficial reuse is observed along Bahr Baqar, Bahr Hadus, Gharbia, Edko and Umoum drains.

Main drain

Branch drain

Branch canal

Main drain reuse Intermediate reuse

Mesqa Distributary

Main canal

Figure 7. Schematic presentation of main drain and intermediate reuse There are 89 agricultural drains which directly flow into the river Nile. Most of them collect volumes of wastewater either municipal or industrial. The following table shows all agricultural drains with their locations as a distance from High Aswan Dam in Aswan (Km) and discharges. Table 5. Main drains flowing into River Nile Location Drain Name Km Khour Sail Aswan El Tawesa El Bahary 9.9 43


Qdrain m3/sec 1.20 0.58

Qdrain / QNile % 0.075 0.036

El Ghaba Abu Wanass Houd Benian Draw El Bahary El Berba Kom Ombo (Houd Zaki) Meneha Main Eklet Kebly Main Eklet Bahary Berk El Ragama Fares Fetera Khour El Sail Abo Hoor Main Kagook Selwa Bahary Radisia Waslet Hager Edfo 18 Waslet Hager Edfo 8 Ateya Shenoda Kebly Edfu El Adwa El Mahamid Hager El Bosilya El Hagz el Bahary Houd El Sebaia El Sharawna Khor El Halla

46 46.5 47 48.7 50 51.4 55 57 62 64 65 70.6 70.4 73 76 87.3 99.85 100.5 109 112 121 117 121.6 136 138 144 147.5 165.5


4.95 2.08 0.92 0.28 0.42 1.16 0.23 0.62 1.57 2.31 1.60 23.15 3.24 0.23 0.65 0.70 0.80 0.80 3.35 0.53 5.00 3.00 0.17 1.43 0.69 2.45 0.25 0.50

0.309 0.130 0.058 0.018 0.026 0.073 0.014 0.039 0.098 0.144 0.100 1.447 0.203 0.014 0.041 0.044 0.050 0.050 0.209 0.033 0.313 0.188 0.011 0.089 0.043 0.153 0.016 0.031

Mataana Al Ghorira Salameia Main Armant Al Zinnia Habil El Sharky Danfeek El Sharky Danfeek El Gharby Main Hegaza (Sheikhia) El Ballas Keft Dandara Hamed Magrour (El Marashda) El Rawy Naga hamadi Main Salam El - Khyam Mazata Esawia Main Souhag Akhmeim El Kebly Akhmeim El Bahary Main Tahta Main Abu Tig Al Badary Zenar Abanob El Kebly

190 196.7 209 224 236 241 244 254 267 273 277.8 300 325 340.35 356 381 382 392.75 392.75 432.7 444.55 454.7 473.85 486.7 513 522 545 557.4


8.20 0.61 0.47 7.60 0.25 6.20 1.23 1.69 5.00 2.47 4.35 0.96 11.10 6.94 2.31 10.92 8.61 3.75 3.75 3.75 19.58 1.96 2.15 9.83 14.14 7.04 7.67 2.22

0.586 0.044 0.034 0.543 0.018 0.443 0.088 0.121 0.357 0.176 0.311 0.069 0.793 0.496 0.165 0.910 0.718 0.313 0.313 0.313 1.632 0.163 0.179 0.819 1.178 0.587 0.639 0.185

Main Mankabad Abanob El Bahary Manflot Main El Gabal Bany Shaker Masara Khety Dir Abo Hanin (El Rayramoun) El Serw Makosa Etsa Tamaress Tabaa Abo Hasiba Al Okda EL Sheik Ziad Awlad El Sheik Mghagha Abo Rahib El Sharahna Ahnsia Main El Rafaa Magror Garaza Atrab Seil EL Wady Seil El Askar El Barmeel El Massanda

562 569 574 581 588.6 607 628 642.75 645 682.5 701.15 725 743 747.5 752 755 764 774 775 779 808 842 848 857 866.3 868 874.5 878


1.60 3.01 0.98 14.00 7.00 1.30 1.00 0.70 0.65 3.96 19.24 0.20 1.85 1.10 0.86 1.25 0.29 0.41 15.63 7.20 23.00 31.35 3.58 1.15 0.00 0.00 1.28 8.88

0.133 0.251 0.082 1.167 0.583 0.108 0.083 0.058 0.054 0.330 1.603 0.017 0.154 0.092 0.072 0.104 0.024 0.034 1.303 0.600 1.917 2.613 0.298 0.096 0.000 0.000 0.107 0.740

Ghamaza El Soghra El Moktatafya Khour Sail El Tibeen

884.5 886 898.1

1.63 1.08 0.60

0.136 0.090 0.050

2.3. Regulatory Arrangements for Reuse or Disposal 2.3.1. Monitoring Network The Drainage Research institute of the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation of Egypt has carried out a long- term monitoring program for monitoring the quantity and quality of drainage water in the main and branch drains in the Nile Delta and Fayuom with a monthly frequency. The current monitoring network consists of 232 sites. The number of parameters is increased to 31 parameters, including toxicological, microbiological, oxygen budget related and extended ions, metals and trace elements as well as the classic parameters. 2.3.2. Supreme Council for Protection of Nile and Waterways from Pollution The Supreme Council for Protection of River Nile and Waterways from Pollution has been created according to the decree of the prime minister No. 3318 in 2009. The minister of Water Resources and Irrigation is the council coordinator, head of the technical committee which includes members of the representative of different ministries related to the council. The activities of the supreme council are: 1. Defining and updating pollution sources on water ways including agriculture, domestic and industrial sources in the form of maps. 2. Conducting studies on "Pollution of Waterways in Egypt" as well as efforts made on River Nile and waterways for pollution control. 3. Preparing an Implementation Plan (until the year 2017) showing the effect of institutional reform and water quality management including solid waste management and cleaner production method on the improvement of the status of water quality in waterways. 4. Preparing a study on the existing monitoring system on the river Nile in order to strengthen the monitoring role of the stakeholders. 5. Studying the treatment priorities for all wastewater sources based on the impacts of industrial drainage on the public health. 2.4. Legislations Concerning Drainage Water Reuse 2.4.1 Law 48/1982 regarding the Protection of the Nile River and Waterways from Pollution - Article 12: Reuse of Drains water shall not be allowed either directly or by mixing with fresh water for any purpose unless it is proven usable for that purpose. The Ministry of Irrigation, after consulting the Ministry of Health, shall take the actions necessary for processing the drains water that are to be reused.


2.4.2. Ministerial Decree 8/1983 on Law 48/1982 Concerning Reuse of Drainage Water - Article 65: Standards for mixing drainage water with canal water (reuse) by the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation as in Table 6. Table 6: Standards for mixing drainage water with canal water (reuse) Parameter name Abbreviation Acid balance pH Alkalinity total Ammonia NH4 Arsenic As Biological Oxygen Demand BOD Cadmium Cd Chemical Oxygen Demand COD (Dichromate) Chemical Oxygen Demand COD (Permanganate) Coliform bacteria (total) Copper Cu Cyanide Fluoride F Iron Fe Manganese Mn Mercury Hg Nitrate NO3 Oxygen dissolved DO Phenol Phosphate PO4 Temperature Total Dissolved Solid TDS Zinc Zn Standard (mg/l) 7 - 8.5 50 - 200 0.5 0.05 10 0.01 15 6.0 5000 MPN/100 ml 1.0 0.1 0.5 1.0 1.5 0.001 10 5.0 (minimum) 0.02 1.0 5 oC above normal 500 1.0

2.4.3. Law 12/1982 regarding the Irrigation and Drainage - Article 31: The Ministry of Irrigation shall establish a network of covered or open field drains provided that all the lands within the scope of the drainage unit should be connected with a series of main and secondary public drains. - Article 48: The use of drains water shall not be allowed for Irrigation purposes unless with a license from the Ministry of Irrigation and according to the conditions determined by the Ministry.

2.4.4. Ministerial Decree 44/2000 regarding the Amendment of the Executive Statutes of Law 93/1962 on the Drainage of Liquid Wastes.


- Article 15: Treated waste water shall not be used for land irrigation except after a permit from the Ministry of Health. The lands into which the wastes are drained shall be located at a distance of not less than 3 kilometers from the city or village cordon. The data concerning degree of treatment for cultivation of vegetables, fruits, plants, or lactiferous/milker animals or cattle be bred on these farms are given in this article. 2.5. Current Projects for Treatment and Reuse of Drainage Water 2.5.1. The Constructed Engineered Wetland in Manzala The project was designed to demonstrate the use of engineered artificial wetlands to treat wastewater. The project has the capacity to treat 25,000 cubic meters of water a day from the Bahr El Baqar drain. Following treatment the majority of the water is used for irrigation, while some is diverted into basins designed for fish farming. The engineered wetlands system also provides local livelihoods through support services and small-scale manufacturing ventures such as plant harvesting and seedlings propagation for stocking the wetlands, production of fuel and animal feed pellets from harvested biomass, and harvesting of aquatic plants from the wetlands.

Figure 8. Engineered Constructed Wetland Location at Manzala


Figure 9. Scheme of the Engineered Constructed Wetland at Manzala 2.5.2. Drainage Reuse Expansion Projects The Ministry of water resources and irrigation is undertaking major projects for horizontal and expansion to divert considerable amounts of drainage water to newly reclaimed areas after blending with fresh water. El-salam canal project and Umom project are two major drainage reuse expansion projects that have been planned since early 1990`s. 2.5.3.El-salam Canal Project The project provides the water to irrigate 220,000 feddan in the Eastern Nile Delta and 400,000 feddan in Sinai. The water for this project mixes 2 billion m3 from agricultural drainage water from Bahr Hadous and Lower Serw drains with 2 billion m3 of fresh water from the river Nile (Damietta branch).

Figure 10. Crossing El-Salam Canal with Suez Canal through a siphon


2.5.4. Umoum Project Similar to El-salam canal project, the Umoum Project reuses 1 billion m3 of drainage water to irrigate 500.000 acres in Nubaria after mixing with fresh water. The water reuse for the project is based on collecting the drainage water from the three subcatchments of Umoum drain and directing it in a channel from north to south. These sub-catchments are Abu-Hummus, Shereshra and Truga. The Abu Hummus is drained by gravity to the Umoum drain; however, the Shereshra and Turga are drained by pumping station (PS).

Figure 11. Location of the Umoum catchment's area 2.6. Recommendations (Drainage Water Use) The water quality of the River Nile and canals in Egypt is affected by the reused drainage water, containing salts, nutrients, pesticides, and industrial and municipal effluents from all towns and villages. The average salinity of the reused drainage water increased from 1005 g/m3 in 2008 to 1166 g/m3 in 2010 (16 %) as a result of repeated reuse. Therefore, in order to increase the potential amount of drainage water reuse without deteriorating the water quality requirement, public health and environment, a comprehensive monitoring program should be implemented to be used for modification of reuse policy in Egypt. Many studies reported that, constructed wetlands or detention ponds are nearly the only effective means for agricultural drainage water treatment before mixing with fresh waterways. Therefore, further research projects should be carried out to investigate how constructed wetlands or detention ponds can be more applicable, effective and sustainable in Egypt, where high salinity of drainage water, water scarcity and evapotranspiration water loss are found. The intermediate drainage reuse is mainly to mix drainage water with fresh water of branch canals located within the irrigation directorates which means that this system can be controlled by the irrigation directorates. Subsequently, this reuse system can replace the unofficial reuse practices and hence reduce its negative impacts on public health and environment. In addition, the intermediate reuse system could replace the


main reuse system which causes environmental problems in many main canals. Therefore, a long term policy should be followed for supporting and encouraging the intermediate drainage reuse. REFERENCES Abdel Wahaab, R.(2010) Assessment of a Combination of UASB and DHS Reactors for Wastewater Treatment and Reuse. HCWW -1st International Conference & Exhibition on Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation, July 25-27th, 2010, Cairo, Egypt. Abdel Wahaab, R.(2003)Sustainable Development and Environmental Impact Assessment in Egypt: Historical Overview The Environmentalist, 23,49-70 Abdel Wahaab,R.(1995)Wastewater Treatment and Re-use: Environmental Health and Safety Consideration. Inter. Journ. Environ. Health Res.Vol.19, 230-241. Abdel Kader, A.; Abdel Rassoul, S. (2010): Prospects of Water Conservation in Egypt (Special Reference to Wastewater Reuse), Fourteenth International Water Technology Conference, IWTC 14 2010, Cairo, Egypt Ban Ki-moon. (2008): Address by the UN Secretary-General to the session Time is Running Out on Water, of the Davos World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland, 24.01.2008. www. CEDARE (Center for Environment and Development for Arab Region and Europe) (2004) Wastewater management and reuse assessment in the Mediterranean. Part I Final Report Prepared by Dia El Din El Quosy Egyptian Ministry of Economic Development (2008) Egypt achieving the millennium development goals, a midpoint assessment. Available at : http://www. %20Links/Egypt%20MDG%20 Mid% 20Term %20Assessment%20Report%202008.pdf Elsaesser, D.; Hauck, E., Schulz, R. (2007): Mitigation of Pesticides Pollution in Vegetated Agricultural Surface Waters: The Role of Vegetation. 2nd International Symposium on Wetland Pollutant Dynamics and Control (WETPOL 2007), 140: 302 - 304. FAO (2005). Global Forest Resources Assessment Progress Towards Sustainable Forest Management. FAO, Forestry Paper No.147. Fatta, D., I. Arslan Alaton, C. Gokcay, I. Skoula, A. Papadopoulos & M. Loizidou (2004) Wastewater reuse in the Mediterranean basin ­ Problems and challenges. In: Harmancioglu,N.B., O. Fistikoglu, Y. Dalkilic, A. Gul (Eds.): Water Resources Management: Risks And Challenges for the 21st Century. Izmir, 2 ­ 4 September 2004. Proceedings. 499. Housing and Building Research Center­ Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities (2005) The Egyptian Code for Using Treated Wastewater in Agriculture. Kadlec, R.; Wallace, S. (2008): Treatment Wetlands- 2nd Ed. ISBN 978 - 1 - 56670 526 - 4. MWRI/USAID (Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation/US Agency for International Development) (2000) Policies and procedures for improved urban wastewater discharge and reuse. Report No. 34, Appendix 2. Health impact and water quality standards in wastewater irrigation


Omar, M. (2010): Improvement of Detention Ponds with Respect to Salinity, PhD Thesis, Faculty of Planning Building Environment, TU Berlin; in preparation for publishing in Book Series of Institute of Civil Engineering. Reinhardt, M.; Gaechter, R.; Wehrli, B.; Mueller.; B. (2000): Phosphorus Retention in Small Constructed Wetlands Treating Agricultural Drainage Water. Journal of Environment Quality, 34: 1251 - 1259. Shaalan NS (2001) Egypt country paper on wastewater reuse. Joint FAO/WHO consultation for launching the regional network on wastewater reuse. Amman, Jordan Steidl, J.; Kalettka, T.; Ehlert, V.; Quast, J.; Augustin, J. (2008): Mitigation of Pressures on Water Bodies by Nutrient Retention from Agricultural Drainage Effluents Using Purification Ponds. The 10th International Drainage Workshop of ICID Working Group on Drainage Helsinki, Finland/ Tallinn, Estonia, July 6 - 11 th 2008. ISBN 978 - 951 - 22 - 9469, 5: 187 - 194. The National Water Resources Plan for Egypt (NWRP) - 2017. (2005): Policy Report: Water for the Future, Planning Sector, Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, Egypt. WaDImena (2008) Water brief - Wastewater Reuse for Water Demand Management in the Middle East and North Africa. Available online at: WHO (2006) Guidelines for the safe use of Wastewater, Excreta and Greywater ­ Volume 3: Wastewater and excreta use in aquaculture. World Bank (2007) Making the most of scarcity: accountability for better water management results in the Middle East and North Africa. MENA development report. The World Bank, Washington DC.

------------------------About the Author (Drainage water Part II): Dr. Eng.Mohy El-Din Omar is working at the planning sector, Ministry of Water Resources & Irrigation (MWRI). He actively participated in the national water resources plan and now he is participating in implementation of Center Water Quality Management strategy. Dr Omar can be reached by e-mail at: [email protected] (Tel.+2-010 32 96 219).



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