Despite water scarcity and high agricultural water demand in the Middle East and North Africa region, substantial proportions of treated wastewater are discharged into the environment and seas without proper utilization. All countries of the region, low pricing of reclaimed wastewater is a common tool to make reuse attractive. However, low pricing of reclaimed wastewater is ineffectual due to farmers' access to freshwater for irrigation at low tariff. Therefore, increasing the prices of freshwater in such a way that does not jeopardize feasibility of agriculture would promote irrigation with reclaimed wastewater even at increased prices. On one hand, it increases the gap between the price of freshwater and that of reclaimed wastewater, making the later more attractive. On the other hand, it would be used as a financial resource for funding the investment costs of the infrastructure needed for conveyance and distribution of reclaimed wastewater. This paper studies the viability of increasing the prices of freshwater and reclaimed wastewater. The results show that irrigation with reclaimed wastewater even for restricted irrigation can be as profitable as, and sometimes better than, freshwater irrigation. Some of the permitted crops such as fruit trees can be more profitable than vegetables. Thus, it appears that the level of knowledge farmers and others on the benefits of reclaimed wastewater is still limited.
Viability of increasing the tariff of freshwater for irrigation as a tool to stimulate wastewater reuse in the MENA region
M. Abu-Madi, R. Al-Sa'ed, O. Braadbaart, G. Alaerts; Viability of increasing the tariff of freshwater for irrigation as a tool to stimulate wastewater reuse in the MENA region. Water Sci Technol 1 May 2008; 57 (9): 1475–1481. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2008.238
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