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TS1.2: Re-water MENA project: Achievements and way forward to mainstream reuse of treated wastewater in the region.

Convener (s): IWMI

Co-convener (s): FAO-RNE, LAS

Chairman: Dr. Amgad Elmahdi, IWMI- Head of IWMI MENA Regional Office

Moderator: Dr. Hammou Laamrani, LAS

Rapporteur: Mohamed Tawfik, IWMI MENA Office


Speaker Name Presentation Title Contacts
Dr. Nisreen Lahham ReWater MENA project: achievements and lessons learnt
Dr. Mohamed AlHamdi Panelist
Dr. Hussein El-Atfy Panelist
Dr. Almoayied Assayed Panelist
Dr. Marie Therese Abi Saab Panelist
Dr. Khaled AbuZeid Panelist


Session Content:

The MENA region, with scarce water resources and increasing population growth coupled with an urbanization trend, is experiencing wider water supply-demand gap. This gap is bridged through diminishing ground water and costly desalinated seawater. Usage of treated wastewater in the agricultural sector presents an untapped opportunity for saving fresh water for other uses such as drinking water for the rapidly growing population, and hence reducing the water supply-demand gap. Against this backdrop, ReWater MENA project was initiated to address the challenges that currently limit opportunities to upscale the expansion of wastewater reuse across the MENA region, as a multi-partner implemented project led by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation (SIDA).

Through creating national and regional Learning Alliances in three countries (Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon) and drawing on experience in the region with existing wastewater reuse strategies, the project identified promising innovations and validated reuse models to resolve past management bottlenecks that constrain wastewater reuse. Plans for wastewater treatment and reuse are developed for six settlements in the three countries, in a participative manner, while mainstreaming a Gender approach. Strategic plans and roadmaps for scaling up of wastewater treatment and reuse are also produced at national and regional levels.

To reach a shared regional diagnosis of the state of water reuse and of the key challenges to uncap the water reuse potential in MENA countries, with relevant policy recommendations and actionable solutions, two Science –Policy dialogues are organized on regional level. Across the MENA region, key stakeholders are engaged, trained, and connected in a network to accelerate the replication of locally viable reuse solutions, to substantially expand safe reuse of treated wastewater in the region and hence reduce water scarcity, increase resilience to climate change, and mitigate the impacts of human displacement on health and livelihoods.

After 3 years, and before finalizing the project next year, it is worth revising the project’s achievements, outcomes and conclude lessons learnt to identify the gap and what is missing from regional and country level for further development. Hence, the main objectives of this session are:

  • Present the achievements of ReWater MENA project on a regional and national levels  (in Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon) to other countries in the region, and to regional and international organizations and partners.
  • Identify gaps and lessons learnt from ReWater MENA project.
  • Discuss the way forward for making a change in the region on mainstreaming the reuse of treated wastewater.
  • Inform the design and objectives of a potential phase 2 of ReWater MENA project.


The panel of this session consists of the project partners on a regional level; FOA RNE and AWC and partners on a national level; Royal Scientific Society (RSS)/ Jordan, Center for Environment & Development for The Arab Region & Europe (CEDARE)/ Egypt and Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute(LARI)/ Lebanon.


Tentative Agenda:

11:00-11:05 Welcoming remarks Chairman: Dr. Amgad Elmahdi IWMI, Head of IWMI MENA Region Office
11:05- 11:20 ReWater MENA project: achievements and lessons learnt Presenter: Dr. Nisreen Lahham IMWI, Manager of ReWater project

Questions to 3 panelists- change on national level


11:50-12:10 Questions to 2 panelists- change on regional level



12:25-12:30 Reporting & closing remarks Rapporteur: Mohamed Tawfik IWMI MENA Office

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