The goal of the workshop was to train a group of Palestinian farmers and agronomists in the usage of reclaimed water, as a part of a trial project to water 200 acres of plantation crops in the Nablus district with reclaimed water, financed by the USAID.
(Communicated by COGAT – Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories)
In the last year the Civil Administration and USAID have been working together to advance the awareness and usage of reclaimed water. As a result, the Civil Administration’s agriculture office along with the agriculture extension service office held a professional workshop for 25 executive Palestinian farmers and agronomists from the Palestinian Authority, mainly from the Nablus district.
The goal of the workshop was to train a group of Palestinian farmers and agronomists in the usage of reclaimed water, as a part of a trial project to water 200 acres of plantation crops from the Deir Sharif WWTP in the Nablus district with reclaimed water, financed by the USAID.
Reclaimed water is former wastewater (sewage) that has gone through purification and filtration processes to remove solids and impurities, been returned to groundwater aquifers and regenerated. Reclaimed water is high enough quality to be used in agriculture.
Throughout the workshop the participants stayed at a hotel in Israel and from there went out to guided tours in the Tzofit area, Mizra, Netanya wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), Emek Hefer (tertiary water treatment for irrigating field crops and vegetables) and HaSolelim WWTP.
The main topics taught at the workshop were: a review of the water sector in Israel focusing on wastewater, terms for the use of recycled water for irrigation, basic concepts and parameters for wastewater, the effect of desalinated water on the quality and usage of treated wastewater, wastewater salinity factors, wastewater purifying methods, laws and regulations for the usage of wastewater in Israel, the fertilizing value of using wastewater in agriculture, the pricing mechanism for reclaimed water and Israel’s share in financing water purification expenses.
Senior lecturers from the Israeli agriculture, health and environment offices, the Agricultural Research Organization, Mekorot Water Co, the Water Authority and of course 25 executive farmers and agronomists from the Palestinian authority attended the workshop.
The Palestinians noted that they learned a great deal from the content taught by the professional Israeli sources, and gave an overview on the current status of reclaimed water and future plans to advance the subject among the Palestinians. They added that there are projects planned for the near future with thousands of acres of plantation crops irrigated with reclaimed water financed by organizations like the USAID and the German organization.
This is not the first year the Civil Administration along with the agriculture extension service office in the Israeli Agriculture office, have held an event like this. In cooperation with USAID they have focused on advancing this subject as much as possible, in addition to tours on wastewater irrigation and other events. We hope to continue these successful joint activities in the future.