Assessment of wastewater treatment technologies and promotion of smart irrgation systems iin the MENA Region using an eco-friendly gum (MENARA)

  • Research & Development
  • 110.000 project budget
  • Mar 2019 - Dec 2021
  • Partners: Birzeit University (lead) - Palestine; Cadi Ayyad University - Marrakech, Morocco; University of Sfax - Sfax, Tunisia; IHE Delft - The Netherlands
  • Donor: Stichting IHE Delft
  • Donor Programme: DGIS - UNESCO-IHE Programmatic Coorperation II
Middle East and North Africa
Middle East and North Africa

This project was selected under the DUPC South-South Call and is led by Prof. Dr.-Eng. Rashed M.Y. Al-Sa'ed, IEWS Director and M.Sc. Programs Head, Institute of Environmental and Water Studies [IEWS], Birzeit University, Palestine. The current wastewater treatment facilities established in Morocco, Palestine, and Tunisia, entail diverse technologies including activated sludge systems (ASS), membrane biological reactors (MBRs) and constructed wetland (CWs). Industrial discharges without prior pretreatment impaired the quality of treated water (TW). The challenge is how to achieve an efficient water use in agricultural irrigation under prevailing conditions with variable TW quality? The MENAR project will use TW for irrigation of selective plants in open field-scale and/or greenhouse and/or in pots, with cultivars irrigated with freshwater (FW) as control. Chemical and microbiological parameters will be monitored along the completely agricultural production chain (i.e. TW, soil, and food) in order to unequivocally assess the potential impacts of reclaimed water use under variable local conditions. At the irrigation level, the proposal deals with the preparation of a high performing hydroretents polymer (HRP) that is capable of adsorbing large quantities of inorganic pollutants (e.g. heavy metals) and organic pollutants (specific dyes) from municipal wastewater. This project envisions to study in-depth the application potential of hydroretents gum to reduce the irrigation water demands and improving the soil quality. This smart irrigation system using eco-gum and recycling reclaimed water aimed at water-food security and water resources protection. A TMT on feasible treatment technologies for effluent reuse in agricultural purposes with hands-on how to prepare and apply locally made eco-gum forms one strategic part of the MENARA project.


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