Reuse of Reclaimed Wastewater in Irrigation: Review of Jordan’s Experience

Areej Khreisat, Taleb M. Abu-Sharar

Abstract


Jordan is a dry country with water resources falling far behind most of the World water-short countries. As a result, the country has no option but to collect, reclaim and reuse the reclaimed wastewater (RWW) in productive agriculture. All available national data in that regard were reviewed and classified into five categories; chemistry of mixed fresh-RWW bodies, environmental and social repercussions of the reuse of RWW and sewage sludge in agriculture, impact of RWW on plant and soil quality, innovative methods of reclaiming wastewater, and policies on the use and management of RWW in irrigation. Analysis of the collected data was featured by a lack of coordination among researchers, deficiency in tracking long term impact of RWW on soil and crops, and the almost absence of interdisciplinary research, especially that integrating the effect of climatic factors with soil and crop responses to irrigation with RWW. Moreover, integrated management of RWW with its nutrient load or with conventional water resources has not been explored. Subsequently, RWW was regarded mainly as a water resource per se. Furthermore, issues such as biological and chemical pollution of both groundwater and irrigated soil had disclosed serious deterioration. Based on our analysis, several corrective measures were advanced. Of these was the necessity to establish a National Water Council. Members of the council should be renowned experts in their fields. They will also be held responsible for delineation policies in the fields of wastewater reclamation, chemical, and biological standards of wastewaters. The latter are destined for irrigation under variable conditions of irrigation technology/crops/soil/climate, environmental soil chemistry associated with RWW integration with other water resources, crop tolerance to RWW, and water economics.

Keywords


Environmental pollution, crop tolerance, reclaimed wastewater, irrigation management, policies and legislations

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