On March 27, 2019, IWMI’s ReWater MENA Project team, accompanied by colleagues from the Royal Scientific Society (RSS), made field visits in the Jordan Valley to assess potential for the development of water reuse models. The visit began in the middle Jordan Valley (Al Aghwar Al Wosta) in Dir Ghalla, where mostly treated wastewater from the Al Samra treatment plant is used. The main objective was to identify agricultural areas that have been irrigated with treated wastewater for 20 years, 10 years and 5 years. The project will study the long-term effect of using treated wastewater in these areas, compared to another area that has the same climate and agronomic conditions but is irrigated with freshwater.
The team visited “Khattab” date palm farm, which is a private business and has been using treated wastewater to irrigate for more than 12 years. The dates are of very good quality and are exported to the Gulf area. The farm has an area of about 30,000 dunams (more than 7,000 Feddans (3000 Hectares)), with 16 trees cultivated per dunam and each tree yielding 50 kilograms of dates annually. The cost of 1 cubic meter of treated water is 0.07 United States Dollar.
The team moved to the northern Jordan valley region, which is subject to deficit irrigation. 40 Million Cubic Meters (MCM) of fresh water coming from El Yarmouk river is provided to the northern Jordan valley every year while the actual need of the region is 60-70 MCM. The farmers currently receive 50-60% of their needs. Citrus trees plantation is dominant in this region. The Jordan Valley Authority aims at reallocating freshwater to Amman and replacing it by treated wastewater for agriculture purposes. The northern Jordan valley authority representatives emphasized that water quality should be monitored on a regular basis. This case represents a case of water reuse and exchange between sectors, which will be potentially studied and documented by the ReWater MENA project.