Wastewater Production, Treatment and Reuse Around the Mediterranean Region: Current Status and Main Drivers Chapter uri icon

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abstract

  • Freshwater is unevenly distributed amongst the countries bordering the Mediterranean (MED) Sea. Accounting for almost 7 % of the global population, the MED region only has just over 2 % of the world’s freshwater resources, with two-thirds of them concentrated within the northern Mediterranean countries. With agriculture being the main user of freshwater, the reuse of treated urban wastewater for agriculture could, at least, relieve current freshwater stress. However, the capabilities of treatment and the motivations for reuse of treated wastewater differ amongst the MED countries. Northern countries, which enjoy better economic status and have relatively less water stress condition, treat up to 90 % of their generated wastewater, but they are the lowest in reusing the treated wastewater in the region. Most southern and eastern MED countries treat lower percentages of wastewater but use significant volume of treated and even untreated (or poorly treated) wastewater for irrigation. There is an imperative need to consider water saving and recycling strategies as population grows and future climate predictions anticipate a significant decrease in available freshwater resources in the MED region. This chapter not only reviews current production, treatment and reuse of wastewater in each MED country but also analyses their main drivers and constrains for reuse. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. All rights are reserved.

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publication date

  • April 2012