Name of the Student : Malvena Al-Jamal
Name of the supervisor/s :

Dr. Omar Zimmo

Dr. Nidal Mahmoud

Title of the thesis :

Development of Sustainable Wastewater Management Strategic for Palestinian Rural Areas

Abstract :  

As in most countries of the region, unsewered communities in Palestine rely mainly on cesspools for wastewater disposal. Actually, 92% of the rural houses discharge their wastewater to cesspits and open sewers (PCBS, 2000). Wastewater either percolates from the cesspools into the soil, or evacuated by vacuum trucks, or discharged untreated into wadi beds. These malpractices resulted in the contamination of water resources and caused various environmental nuisances. The concept of appropriate sanitation systems for those communities has been either ignored or forgotten. No comprehensive studies have been made to investigate the key factors influencing technology selection of sanitation systems in Palestine (Abu Madi et. al, 2000).

The purpose of this research study is to develop a sustainable wastewater management strategy in small rural Palestinian communities of the West Bank so as to accelerate the expansion of wastewater services to these areas. The study traces the present status of rural sanitation in the West Bank. Various relevant economical, technical, socio-cultural and environmental circumstances in these areas, which influence the development of wastewater services, are reviewed. A planning tool for comparing and assessing the sustainability of different wastewater systems is presented. The selection criteria for sanitation systems are critically reviewed and discussed. Based on these criteria, the adoption of a focused sanitation strategy for rural areas is recommended. The guiding principles of the proposed strategy are also presented. To translate these principles into practice, an overview and analysis of various enabling technologies and their potential application within the framework of the strategy is offered.

The developed strategy recommended the application of holistic but decentralized management approach within the water cycle and the use of low cost sewerage, which are more suited to the socio-cultural and environmental circumstance in small communities of Palestinian rural areas. This approach will facilitate accelerated and sustainable extension of wastewater services to small communities as it offers a great potential for cost reduction, accommodates the needed domestic water conservation efforts, reduces water inputs in wastewater management and thus eliminates unnecessary demand on freshwater, contains pollution, reduces associated environmental risks and increases reuse opportunities (Bakir, 2000).