Within the ongoing joint research project “Assessment of wastewater treatment technologies and promotion of smart irrigation systems in the MENA Region using an eco-friendly gum [MENARA]”; funded by the DUPC2 Program of IHE Delft, The Netherlands, the Greenhouse has been successfully established Birzeit University campus.
Besides the Greenhouse, constructed wetlands, preceded by a UASB was installed and operated for the treatment of olive mill wastewater for reuse. As a pilot model to accomplish field experiments and advanced studies on agricultural products irrigated with treated water through the development of super-absorbent hydrogel polymer.
The latter, is applied as a smart technology aiming at removal of emergent pollutants including heavy metals and phenols. In doing so, a water security shall provide efficient use of irrigation water and optimal reduction of potential pollutants in reclaimed water for agricultural irrigation. The envisaged results shall help provision of feasible local solutions to face water challenges facing Palestine. In addition, well-trained BZU staff shall acquire knowledge and skills pertinent to the extraction and preparation of local low-cost hydrogel from cactus and waste materials to enhance the absorption potential of potential industrial pollutants, thus depicting and advancement of innovative reclamation of treated municipal wastewater.
The project is part of a joint collaboration with international academic institutions from two African universities (Morocco and Tunisia) and the IHE Delft, the Netherlands. Dr. Rashed Al-Sa`ed, the project coordinator, underlined the role of the Steering Committee, consisting of six local institutions including representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, and Nablus Municipality the civil society organizations (PWEG, PHG, UWAC) and the private sector GES, in holding regular meetings to ensure the smooth functioning of the project activities