Water management studies reveal that no single source could fully solve the nation’s water shortage, and many integrated actions are needed to ensure water availability, suitability and sustainability. Among these options, treated wastewater has the largest potential to augment water supply in the near future, thereby narrowing the gap between available freshwater and total demand.

Under the umbrella of the project on the Sustainable Management of Available Water Resources with Innovative Technologies (SMART) funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research in Germany, an investigation was carried out in the Jordan Valley to estimate the current wastewater reuse quantities and the potential to increase its utility for agricultural production.

In general, the reuse as percentage of total treatment is applied for national and international comparisons, but the study also introduces a wastewater reuse index (WRI) that reflects the actual proportion of wastewater reused from the total generated wastewater.

The authors find that the WRI in Jordan steadily increased from 30% in 2004 to 38 in 2007. Efficient use of treated wastewater requires the application of new technologies in Jordan like dwellings connected to the sewer system, decentralization of treatment plants to rural and urban settlements and prevention of high evaporation rates from stabilization ponds.

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