Such wastewater quantities have a good potential to be collected, treated and reused. It is considered one of the important alternative water sources. Yet, for cultural reasons, the Palestinian community doesn’t accept this as a resource as of yet. Therefore, it is imperative to develop demonstration projects in order to prove the feasibility of such resources and demonstrate that the risks encountered with the use of treated wastewater are minimal when dealt with carefully.
Based on this argument, the issue of treated wastewater re-use is considered one of the key areas that need further development in the Palestinian Areas. Some technical capacity is needed and some new methodologies and approaches are also needed.
Despite the fact that there are some key institutions dealing with the subject, it still needs further development. The cooperation and coordination among them will further promote the issue and will lead to better results. Among the potential institutions are the Palestinian Hydrology Group (PHG), the Agricultural Engineers Association and the Ministry of Agriculture.
There is a clear need for further research on appropriate technology for wastewater collection and treatment in the rural areas. Such technology will help reduce investment costs and will lead to the adoption of decentralized sanitation as a means to reduce pollution from untreated wastewater, while creating an alternative source that can be utilized.
Having said that, there is also a clear need to build the capacity of technicians and operators who might potentially be needed to operate and maintain such systems. Currently, there is no such capacity at the operational level. PHG has established a Training Institute in order to build the capacity of such technicians. PHG is willing to cooperate with the other institutions in order to define the training needs and to design the appropriate training programs.
Furthermore, Water User Associations (WUA) need to be established as a mean to improve local irrigation water management and to increase its efficiency. The WUAs will potentially reflect the end users opinions and their participation. The decision makers and the other stakeholders will assist in promoting the good water governance. It is important that we develop appropriate methodology to set up and organize the WUAs. It is also important to look into the different experiences that exist elsewhere in the world and benefit from their experience.