Best Practices and Experiencesin NCWRM in the ESCWA Region Carol Chouchani Cherfane Chief, Water Resources Section Sustainable Development and Productivity Division
CONDITIONS LEADING TO NCWR USEWater Scarcity: Renewable Water Resources in Arab Countries perMost Arab countries capita(including ESCWA Threatenscountries) are Water Securityamong the mostwater scarcecountries in worldhaving less than1,000 m3 ofrenewable waterresources per capitaper year.PopulationGrowth: Arabpopulation grewfrom 173 million(1980) to 352.2million (2009);ESCWA 253 million(2009) represents72% of Arabpopulation Source: ESCWA regional chapter to forthcoming World Water Development Report 4
NCWR USE IN ESCWA REGION ESCWA countries have responded to water constraints by turning to non-conventional water resources to varied degrees. Extent of use depends upon what is defined as a NCWR. FAO/AQUASTAT defines NCWR as (1) desalinated water; (2) adequately treated domestic or industrial waste water; or (3) agricultural drainage water, although other NCWR emerging. Treated Agricultural Desalination Wastewater Drainage Reuse Water Water Cloud Coastal Harvesting Seeding Springs 3
DESALINATION Desalination and Treated Wastewater Reuse in selected ESCWA countriesSource: FAO, AQUASTAT. Treated wastewater date for Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and UAE is fromthe year 2006, 2002, and 2006 respectively. Desalination much more extensive than treated wastewater reuse in Gulf, though current and comparable data difficult to secure.
DESALINATION: DIFFERENCES BETWEENCOUNTRIESDesalination types, mix & trends vary between ESCWA countries: Reverse osmosis (RO): Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine (80-100%) Multi-stage flash (MSF): Kuwait (82%); Qatar (62%); KSA (46%) Multi-effect distillation (MED): KSA (10%); Qatar (16%); Kuwait (0%) Other: 10% for Major desalination plants in the Gulf sub-region 2008 Feed water also varies in source & mix, though largely seawater (83%); brackish water (10%); wastewater (2%)Source: ESCWA Water Development Report 3, p.8, Figure 8
DESALINATION: EXPERIENCE FROM THE FIELDDesalination as a industry – and promotion as green industry?• Desalination capacity of Saudi Arabia and the UAE accounts for over 30% of global desalinated freshwater production.• Desalination increasing in Egypt due to real estate and tourism expansion.• GCC examining desal as an industry: R&D, O&M, training, jobs, exports• Not better than fossil groundwater extraction?Water-Energy Examining the full cost of DesalinationLinkages • Energy rich v/s Energy poor endowments cause difference • Solar options being explored, but not well developed: KSA, UAE • Transfer/transmission costs need to be considered • Environmental externalities (CO2 Source: ESCWA Water Development Report 3 (2009) emissions)
DESALINATION: EXPERIENCE FROM THE FIELDOvercapacity: leading to non-conventional water resourcesmanagement practices; inefficiencies and waste prevail. Water-Energy Co-generation New Option: Plants Managed Aquifer Recharge Desalination (Bahrain) Over capacity inWater Security: GCC counties IncreaseReducing Risks Household Storage Capacity (Bahrain, Qatar,Water Security: Yemen) Planning forfuture growth Despite over capacity, bottled water (population & consumption in GCC very high. economic) Salinity, quality transferred through transmission networks not trusted by consumers
MANAGED AQUIFER RECHARGE: STORAGE &SUSTAINABILITY Bahrain – The Government of Bahrain considers to implement Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) schemes in Damman Aquifer to increase freshwater resources availability in times of emergency, and to lower the salinity of the groundwater in some places. – This aims to make best use of treated sewage effluent, short- term/seasonal surpluses, water from desalination plants and storm water runoff. – First national technical consultation meeting was held in October 2010 where all major stakeholders of MAR participated. – Being supported through ESCWA Regional Advisory Services
TREATED WASTEWATER REUSE Treated wastewater have increased in some ESCWA countries, but quantification remains difficult so trend analysis should be viewed with caution. Wastewater Treated Volume of selected ESCWA countries 9 Source: FAO, AQUASTAT
TREATED WASTEWATER REUSE - TYPESVaried uses in the ESCWA Region: Irrigation – for agriculture Greenification – for green belts and to combat desertification Common in GCC and Egypt Cooling and reuse – Bahrain Airport reusing treated grey water for cooling, greenification at airport; under consideration for shopping mall as well Managed Aquifer Recharge – being explored, for storage for alternative uses sources to be served through pumping, but also in coastal aquifers to reduce saltwater intrusion. NCWR and TWR referenced in Arab Water Security Strategy officially adopted in June 2011
TREATED WASTEWATER REUSE:LESSONSFood security and food safety Concern by farmers and domestic consumers; Awareness raising needed Regulatory regime and infrastructure needed to ensure confidenceTrade barriers: sanitary & phytosanitary measures on agricultural exports Testing by mutually accredited/recognized labs helping to overcome barriers Issues emerged between ESCWA countries on this issue, but have been overcome recently based on increased treated wastewater reuse and testing capacity.Development Planning: Locating new wastewater treatment plans nowbeing considered within development strategies and plans Lebanon: Looking to install at least 3 wastewater treatment plants in Keserouan (mountainous areas that drains into Beirut water supply source): becomes question of groundwater contamination concerns if wastewater treatment failures occur (or insufficient demand captured) UAE/Abu Dhabi: Using TWR as means to create communities in the desert (Viola plant) Bahrain: Proximity between treatment plans and user is ‘far’, thus transfer of treated wastewater for reuse needs to be balanced with other options or goals.
AGRICULTURAL RUNOFF REUSENot so ‘non-conventional’ in water scarce regions Part of FAO/AQUASTAT reporting on NCWRChallenges Pesticide and nitrate concentrations Washing in and mixing with other wastewater streams Poor quality has implications for downstream users – both within a country and between countriesRegional Experience Egypt: Agricultural runoff reuse for agriculture and fisheries – some resulting problems for food safety related to fisheries industry affecting consumer health and exports Turkey-Syria: Agricultural runoff from Turkey into Syria part of ‘shared water resources management’ challenge: quality as well as the quantity of this agricultural run off affects agricultural sector in Northern Syria negatively. (ESCWA-BGR pilot project)
CLOUD SEEDING: WEATHERMODIFICATION Cloud seeding programs in the region –Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syrian Arab Republic, and UAE (ESCWA countries) + Algeria, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Morocco (Non-ESCWA countries) The beginning years of cloud seeding in Arab countries Country Starting Year Notes Algeria 1952 Non-ESCWA Arab Libyan Arab Jamahiriya 1971 Countries Morocco 1983 Jordan 1986 Iraq 1989 Saudi Arabia 1990 ESCWA Countries Syrian Arab Republic 1991 UAE 2000 Source: Al-Fenadi, n.d., Cloud seeding experiments in Arab Countries: History and Result, p.2. Table 2
CLOUD SEEDING: EXPERIENCE UAE – Government of UAE (Department of Atmospheric Studies) has implemented a program introducing cloud seeding in the UAE. – In May 2008, it is reported that a thunderstorm was produced as a result of cloud seeding test. – In 2010 summer, it is reported that 50 rain storms were created by cloud seeding project in the Abu Dhabi desert. In light of increasinginvestments in this area(China included), this isintroducing a new legal transboundary management issue:Who owns the clouds?
WATER HARVESTING: RAINWATERCOLLECTIONWater Harvesting has been done since ancient times – again notso ‘non-conventional’Palestine – rainwater collection is common practice.Oman – water harvesting is being used for groundwater recharge.Sudan – water harvesting has been made a national priority. The Government decided to upgrade the former Dams Implementation Unit in the Ministry of Electricity and Dams, and provided additional funding for the construction of water harvesting infrastructure. Supported by ESCWA Regional Advisory Services New Government remains interested
WATER HARVESTING: FOG COLLECTION Some ESCWA countries also studying fog collection technologies and options. Yemen – 26 standard fog collectors (1 m2) were installed in 2002 and 2003. – The best average daily production was 4.5 litres/m2 over winter period. – Subsequently, 25 large fog collectors (40 m2) were constructed in 2004, which provides 4,500 litres of drinking water per day during the dry winter season. Saudi Arabia – 3 standard fog collectors were installed in Asir region, and the best average daily water production of 11.5 litre/m2 was obtained during winter period(November to January). – This indicates that fog collection can be a meaningful source of water supply in Asir region of Saudi Arabia. However, weather modification and fog collection need to be further examined, with improved monitoring and reporting on outcomes.
COASTAL FRESHWATER SPRINGS ESCWA region’s extensive coastline make this an issue to consider in various member countries, including Lebanon and Bahrain, but still at early stages of exploration / exploitation. Challenges: Studies have been undertaken, but further research needed Remote sensing and GIS being used to support mapping of these freshwater resources originating from groundwater resources and coastal aquifers Significant resources seem available in Med and other regional seas Implications for Biodiversity: if consumed, how does that affect sea salinity? Could it impact the biodiversity mix and coastal fisheries? Transboundary issue As freshwater becomes increasing scare, could introduce territorial conflicts such as those evidenced by off-sea oil and gas reserves Is there an UNCLOS agreement for freshwater resources in our future?
NEXT STEPS:INTER/INTRA-REGIONAL EXCHANGES Evident experience in region on use of different NCWRs Opportunities for inter/intra regional exchange: intra-ESCWA; intra-Arab; inter-Arab/ESCWA and Med countries Desalination Industry Experience and the GCC GCC interested in increased exchange and expansion of knowledge and technical experience on desalination Water Harvesting and Benefiting from Local Best Practices Field study exchanges currently under preparation between Sudan and Oman. Most certainly opportunities exist between other countries as well
NEXT STEPS:MDG+ INITIATIVE “Establishing a Regional Mechanism for Improved Monitoring and Reporting on Access to Water Supply and Sanitation Services in the Arab Region” (MDG+ Initiative) Endorsed by LAS Arab Ministerial Water Council to set up regional specific indicators for monitoring and reporting on water supply and sanitation. NCWR integral part of regional initiative First Ministerial Session (Algiers, 2009) – requested ESCWA to establish regional mechanism for monitoring/reporting on regional specific WSS indicators in partnership with ACWUA, CEDARE, AWC and RAED MDG+ Indicators formulated by ESCWA and finalized in consultation with partners, WHO and Arab Governments and endorsed by AMWC Template/questionnaire prepared and endorsed by Arab Summit (January 2011) as part of Arab regional input to MDG follow-up
NEXT STEPS:MDG+ INITIATIVE MDG+ Indicators Water Supply Sanitation• Water consumption • Treated quantity• Continuity of supply • Treatment type• Water quality • Reuse utilization• Distance to source • Reuse type• Tariff structure • Tariff structure• Affordability • Affordability Purpose is to consider not only accessibility to improved infrastructure, but also reliability, regularity, affordability, sustainability and quality of service provided. Differentiates between conventional/non-conventional sources: Supply: rainwater harvesting; Sanitation: raw/treated reuse These are particularly important issues to consider in water scarce environments and developing countries.
NEXT STEPS:MDG+ INITIATIVEObjectives and outcomes: Will create regional knowledge base on these indicators Will support regional dialogue and priority-setting on these issues, Will support national water planning, as will help to mainstream NCRW in national water planning decisions targeting water supply and sanitation Set up supported by National Monitoring Teams that would also create awareness, trust and support for these indicators that link water ministries with utilities and other key actors (health, statistics, planning, etc). Advisory Board provides technical backstopping: ESCWA, ACWUA, CEDARE, AWC, RAED, WHO and LAS Secretariat
Thank you!Carol Chouchani CherfaneChief, Water Resources SectionSustainable Development and Productivity DivisionUN-ESCWATel: +961 1 978 518Fax: +961 1 981 510Email: email@example.comWeb: www.escwa.un.org