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Expert Group Meeting on “Enhancing capacity building addressing · PDF file 2019. 6. 27. · Expert Group Meeting on “Enhancing capacity building addressing Water and Energy interlinkages

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  • 25 – 26 June 2019, Beirut, Lebanon

    Expert Group Meeting on “Enhancing capacity building addressing Water

    and Energy interlinkages for Sustainable Development in the Arab Region”

    Faissal AZIZ

    Cadi Ayyad University


  • Title :

    «Assessment of wastewater treatment technologies and promotion of smart

    irrigation systems in the MENA Region using an eco-friendly gum


    Thematic: Efficient water management, particularly in the agricultural sector

    Period : 2019-2021

    Budget : 300 K Euro

    MENARA Project Funding from DUPC2

    Research for development proposals led by institutes from developing countries

  • Project partners

    -Dr. Ghadeer Arafeh -Pr. Rashed M.Y. Al-Sa'ed

    -Pr. Faissal AZIZ -Pr. MANDI Laila

    -Pr. Ouazzani Naaila

    -Pr. Amine Elleuch -Dr.Zayneb Chaabene

    -Pr. Peter van der Steen -Robert Johnson NGO

  • Wastewater treatment facilities in Morocco and Palestine serve solely residential communities, and

    lack design considerations for the treatment of industrial wastewater discharges.

    Nablus WWTP

    Tanger WWTP


  • Local municipalities connect the industrial discharges to public sewerage networks with ultimate

    treatment in central wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs).

    Marrakech (Morocco) WWTP

    Parameters Unit Raw WW Treated WW Irrigation standards

    pH 7,26 7.12 6,5-8,4

    Conductivity mS/cm 4,445 1.500 12

    Total dissolved salts mg/l 223 145 7680

    Suspended matter mg/l 577,78±13,87 78 100-200

    Total polyphenol mg/l 131±3,27 23,6 < 0.002

    COD mg/l 610±54,2 87 100

    BOD5 mg/l 810±1,47 15 30

    Bicarbonate (HCO3) mg/l 17,55 10,23 8.5

    Sulfate mg/l 232,61±33,99 73,4 250

    Nitrates mg/l 0,22±0,047 0,15 30

    Total phosphorus mg/l 10,19±0,48 4,22 5

    Fecal coliform CFU/100ml 3,70.106 2500 1000

    Chromium (CrVI) mg/l 7420 3150 1

  • • These current practices lead to negative impacts on WWTPs efficacy with associated environmental, economic and socio-political impacts.

    • Considering water-energy-food nexus, climate change, water scarcity and limited access to available water resources in the MENA region, use of reclaimed water for agricultural irrigation forms a core element within an integrated water resources management.


  • • How achieve sustainable WWTPs with safe reclaimed water suitable for agricultural application is the main goal of this research project.

    • A cutting-edge irrigation system using a hydroretents polymer (HRP) , an eco-gum manufactured at bench scale, will be used for the removal of selective heavy metals and organic pollutants of industrial origin.

    • We argue that HRP can help local municipalities find environmentally sound solutions to reduce organic and inorganic residues from reclaimed water.

    Project description

  • The main objective of the proposed project is to :

    -Assess the chemical/microbiological contamination and productivity

    in the agricultural production chain under irrigation with different

    kinds of reclaimed wastewater.

    -Prepare hydroretents polymer (HRP) materials suitable for water

    storage and micro pollutants adsorption during irrigation.

    -Support a techno-economic optimization of wastewater treatment

    lines and their management in order to produce treated wastewater

    compatible with agriculture irrigation practices.


  • Activities Year 2019 Year 2020 Year 2021 Responsibilities 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 1 2 3

    0 - Project Manegment BZU – Cadi Ayyad university, Tunisian partner and UNSECO-IHE

    1 -Conducting two Desk Studies BZU – Cadi Ayyad university

    2 -Training on how to develop and manufacture of polymer in laboratories

    Tunisian Partner

    Training capacity bulding UNSECO -IHE 3 -Pilot installation and laboratory optimization

    BZU, Cadi Ayyad university Partner

    4-Pot and mesocosm installation

    BZU, Cadi Ayyad university and Tunisian Partner

    5- Soil, leachate and groundwater characterization before and after irrigation with TW

    BZU, Cadi Ayyad university Partner

    6-Socioeconomic impact of TW reuse for irrigation (2 Case Studies)

    BZU, Cadi Ayyad university

    *Awareness campaigns BZU, Cadi Ayyad university *Questionnaire surveys BZU, Cadi Ayyad university 7-Dissemination of results BZU, Cadi Ayyad university

    *Website and Intranet BZU, Cadi Ayyad university * Workshops and hold discussing sessions with related stakeholders

    BZU, Cadi Ayyad university

    *Communications to R&D polycimakers

    BZU, Cadi Ayyad university

    * Hold Conference Cadi Ayyad university & the Co - funder (UPM)

  • What is HRP?

    • A hydroretents polymer (HRP) is a sandwich of hessian, polymers and paper. When placed at the root zone of plants, it ensures an efficient use of water and nutrients.

    • Biodegradable HRP reduce irrigation requirements and improve the water availability in plant substrates / soils which leads to improved yields.


  • What is HRP?

    • Only 7 grams of polymers can absorb 1 litre of water turning it into gel. The plant roots grow into the gel and the HRP slowly releases water providing a water buffer for 2 to 3 weeks.

    • HRP save water, labour and increase yields

  • Polymers

    The HRPs that widely used in agriculture are mainly;

    1- polyacrylate polymers.

    2- polyacrylamide polymers.

    Polyacrylates polymers are usually made with sodium and are more

    environmentally friendly

    Polyacrylamides polymers absorb only about 300 to 400 times its own

    weight in water, use a variety of potassium molecules for crosslinking.

    In agriculture Superabsorbent polymers are used in soil, as reservoir of

    nutrients, and as water absorbent media. Properties of this material are

    dependent on many factors, such as their chemical and compositional

    characteristics, soil texture, plant species and also environmental factors. 3

  • Typical cellulose-based SAP prepared via direct cross-linking of sodium carboxymethyl cellulose

    (CMC; R= H, COO-Na+) or hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC; R= H, CH2CH2OH)

  • HRP for potted Production (Vegetable and Nursery Sector)


  • Using HRP for wind erosion control

    HRP used for tree plantation

    under the wind erosion control

  • • Locally produced eco-gum can improve the quality of reclaimed water and

    increase agricultural productivity while reducing pollution loads to receiving

    environment and public health;

    • Policy makers can integrate research results into national reuse guidelines

    through adoption of smart post-treatment technologies aiming at reducing

    the potential impacts and fate of inorganic and organic residues of industrial

    origins; eco-gum can adsorbed selective heavy metals otherwise reducing

    agricultural productivity and causing soil degradation


  • • Tailor-made training for farmers, school farms, NGOs,

    agricultural engineers, and policy makers on smart

    irrigation systems, sources and fate of potential

    pollutants of various origins can increase awareness

    raising, acceptance and improve technical skills of local

    communities in the MENA region

    • Research findings are applicable and relevant outside our

    case study to other countries in MENA region conditional

    that eco-gum is feasible to produce considering socio-

    economic context and cost-effectiveness at local market


  • • The intellectual merit of the proposed research envisage the following outcomes: Technical and decision support to policy makers and local communities towards techno- economic optimization of wastewater treatment facilities.

    • This shall narrow the knowledge gab and improve profession skills to sustain operational management of sanitation services. Considering socio-economic conditions, acceptance and optimized water and land management are core issues behind efficient water use for agricultural production.

    Development outcomes

  • • Scale-up of best synthesis recipes from bench-scale to pilot and large-scale production based on well defined parameters gathered through extensive molecular and macroscopic level characterization of the prepared hydrogels.

    Development outcomes

  • • Establishment of Research and Technical Development (R&D) group to create new knowledge regarding scientific and technological topics for the purpose of uncovering and enabling development of new products, proces

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