From Drain to Irrigation: Innovative Wastewater Recycling in Nablus

From Drain to Irrigation: Innovative Wastewater Recycling in Nablus
German public development financing organisation (KfW), Frankfurt a. M., Germany Nablus, Palestine
CDM Smith is planning and supervising the construc­tion of a wastewater system in Nablus and its surround­ings. Addi­tion­ally, CDM Smith is initiating a pilot project to recycle treated wastewater for irrigation.

Palestine has a critical water shortage problem; water shortages are most acute for agricultural irrigation, which consumes 90% of the available water supply.  This is compounded by the fact that most Palestinian wastewater is not treated and therefore cannot be reused. The recently adopted Palestinian National Water Strategy thus considers the reuse of treated waste water to be of high importance. 

inhabitants in Nablus and surroundings
financial aid (KfW)

The public development financing organ­i­sa­tion (KfW) has initiated a development project towards improving wastewater treatment to the north of the West Bank. The Nablus city council commis­sioned CDM Smith to join forces with Dahlem Consulting Engineers and two local consulting firms in imple­ment­ing this project. Specif­i­cally, the project entails the tendering and supervision of the construc­tion of wastewater treatment systems, industrial wastewater pretreat­ment facilities, and a second wastewater treatment plant for Nablus and six neigh­bour­ing villages. In addition, we are training local staff and providing technical consulting services for 2 years.


Wastewater is an important resource with enormous improvement opportunities in agricultural production. Our project supports Palestinians by helping them tap into this resource for irrigation.
Philipp Stepan, Project Manager

A pilot pro­ject to re­cy­cle treated waste­water for ir­ri­ga­tion has yielded es­pe­cially promis­ing re­sults. Waste­water is the only water re­source that does not in­volve po­lit­i­cal con­flict in the Palestinian territories. CDM Smith supports the pro­ject which is the first of its kind and an im­por­tant mile­stone for fu­ture pro­jects in Pales­tine, and is scheduled for completion in 2021. In the future, the orig­i­nally contracted agreed ir­ri­ga­tion area of 20,000 m² will be ex­tended to 2.5 km² on the basis of a feasibility study. 

Re­cy­cling treated waste­water is sig­nif­i­cantly in­creas­ing agri­cul­tural ac­tiv­ity in the re­gion, cre­at­ing jobs and con­tribut­ing to an in­crease in in­come for farm­ers. Moreover, it improves en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion because the usage of treated waste­water allows higher clean­li­ness stan­dards.

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We support Palestine in its efforts to obtain better living conditions.

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