The annual amount of water used in Syria is about 15BCM. This comes from the Euphrates (50 per cent) and the Asi River basins (20 per cent). Of the water usage from the Asi River, 2,230MCM are used for irrigation, 320MCM for domestic purposes and 270MCM for industrial purposes. The total amount of water withdrawn from the Asi River is 2,730MCM
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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.
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.
Gaza’s water crisis affects every one of the territory’s 1.76 million inhabitants. The heavy pollution of water resources in the Gaza Strip has a severe impact on public health; children are particularly at risk from water-related diseases. In addition, the local economy, agricultural production in particular, and the environment suffer the consequences of the water scarcity and pollution.
In 1997, the World Bank described the water situation in Gaza as an “emergency state of affairs”. Yet nearly 20 years on, the levels of pumping have only increased, pollution has worsened and large parts of the water infrastructure in the area have been damaged or destroyed. Why was Gaza’s “emergency state of affairs” left to deteriorate beyond the point of repair?