Water scarcity and pollution are major threats for human development in the Middle East, and Lebanon is no exception. Wastewater treatment and its reuse in agriculture can contribute to addressing the increasing water crisis in the region. But, what is the actual potential of water reuse as a solution for agriculture in Lebanon?
Lebanon is experiencing several crises: political, economic, and financial, and the water sector is also paying the price.
The country, located at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arab hinterland, is found in one of the most vulnerable places in the world to climate change, but it is human interference that plays the bigger part in water systems’ degradation.
On June 14th, 2021, the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), organized the 2nd ‘National Learning Alliance’ (NLA) in Lebanon in the framework of the ReWater MENA project. The meeting was organized by IWMI MENA regional office and took place online, gathering a large group of key stakeholders from the water, wastewater, and irrigation sectors in Lebanon.
The workshop aims to build and strengthen the capacities of different stakeholders and participants from Lebanon in the field of safe use of wastewater, building on four training modules. The modules include: Stakeholders’ acceptance and gender integration in reuse interventions, assessing the Economic Feasibility for Integrated Wastewater Reuse (WWR) Projects: From Formulation to Reporting, Governance and Reuse Safety Plans, and Water Reuse Technologies.
On Monday 15 February 2021, a meeting was held at the premises of the Bekaa Water Establishment (Zahleh) to launch the survey that will be conducted with farmers in the framework of the Water Reuse Local Studies conducted by ReWater MENA and its partners in Lebanon.
On Thursday 3rd of October (2019), the ReWater MENA project invited a diverse group of approximately 35 stakeholders to join the project’s first National Learning Alliance (NLA). The NLA took place at the Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute (LARI) in Fanar-Lebanon where the group of participants had the opportunity to discuss and share ideas around to the potential of using recycled water in agriculture in Lebanon.
In July 2019, the Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute (LARI), a key partner of the ReWater MENA project in Lebanon, kicked off a two year-field trial in the Bekaa valley. Established at LARI’s Tel Amara station in central Bekaa, on the right bank of the Litani River, this pilot will serve to assess the health and environmental risks associated with irrigating fresh vegetables from different water sources of varying quality.
With public participation seen as key to long-term results, IWMI’s ReWater MENA project is working with local partners to build skills and launch participatory processes. The SIDA funded- project in Lebanon recently facilitated a three-day training on «Public Participation» at the Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute (LARI), from 27 to 29 May 2019. The facilitators, LISODE, are a French enterprise that guides the participatory processes in the project and ensures all project’s national and local activities are being implemented in a participatory way. Processes are aimed at involving and engaging all stakeholders in research and decision-making steps, starting from the national institutions to the end-users.
As population grows and farming expands, the demand for water is steadily rising. Massive human displacement along with other pressures, such as climate change, further aggravates water stress in our region. To meet this challenge, we need innovative water management solutions, including more safe water reuse practices, an approach which is implemented by the International WATER Management Institute (IWMI) through its project, ReWater MENA.