In all three riparian countries, the river is used mainly for irrigation, domestic water supply and hydropower. The Asi River is diverted to the Homs-Hama water channels and Ghab-Roudji irrigation systems to meet the needs of Lebanon and Syria. The water is also stored in the Zeita Dam for domestic and irrigation purposes and energy production.
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The rate of wastewater treatment is still low in many MENA countries, and reuse faces many challenges like; preference for freshwater over wastewater, inadequate information on the status of reuse and disposal of wastewater, and incomplete economic analysis of the wastewater treatment and reuse options
There are many benefits of wastewater reuse. The environmental benefits include reducing the pollution of water resources and sensitive receiving bodies, and controlling saline water intrusion through groundwater recharge. Wastewater reuse also presents economic value by providing significant additional amounts of water and contributing to the conservation of freshwater resources. Additionally, it provides nutrient-rich water for irrigation and reduces the need for chemical fertilizers.
Besides news, interviews and in-depth reports on a range of water-related topics in the MENA region, Fanack Water also produces short documentaries on pressing water issues. From the Red Sea to the Dead Sea is the first in a series of films we plan to produce to shed light on complex and often contentious water problems in the MENA region.