Chapter 2- Environmental Infrastructure
 REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL COOPERATION
 CONTENTS | INTRODUCTION | ERA OF PEACE | FRAMEWORKS |  INFRASTRUCTURE | DESERTIFICATION | NATURE CONSERVATION | PARKS        
Chapter 2: Environmental Infrastructure
 Chapter 2- Environmental Infrastructure
   
 Chapter 2- Environmental Infrastructure
 Chapter 2- Environmental Infrastructure
Hydrological Sensative Area
  Wastewater Reclamation Projects

The issue of water is central to environmental concerns, both in view of its relative scarcity in the region, and as a potential environmental pollutant. The prevention of water pollution through standardized-sewage treatment practices and methods to combat industrial pollution can be addressed through joint regional projects. The reclamation of wastewater will prevent the pollution of ground and surface water, and alleviate sanitation problems while at the same time increasing the water resource potential.

The need for wastewater reclamation arises from the necessity to exploit all available water resources in the region. As a result of increased consumption in the domestic-urban sector, sewage created by this sector has and will continue to increase. From every cubic meter of sewage water deriving from households, it is now possible to recycle up to 0.6 cubic meter for agricultural purposes. Supply of reclaimed wastewater is contingent primarily on urban growth. By 2010, however, even though most agricultural crops will be irrigated with recycled effluent, this source will not suffice as the sole supplement to renewable freshwater sources.

Effluent recycling harbors several advantages when compared with other water development options

  • it alleviates sanitation problems;
  • it prevents pollution of both ground and surface water;
  • it increases the country’s water resource potential.

Sewage systems of the future will have to include, apart from proper sewage arrangements, water treatment systems designed to prevent environmental pollution. The most promising end-users for treated water are industry and agriculture. In addition, seasonal storage facilities are required for efficient management of reclaimed water.

A distinction is drawn between restricted irrigation and unrestricted irrigation. The former refers to the use of low quality effluents in predefined areas for specific crops. The latter refers to the use of high quality effluents for irrigation of all types of crops and almost all types of soil conditions. The quality of water sought dictates the level of treatment required. Exclusive reliance on restricted irrigation may lead to substantial constraints on crop selection, which can constitute an operational hurdle, if recycling is to be instituted universally.

The use of effluents for irrigation may be restricted for ecological reasons. If irrigated areas are situated over aquifers, the danger of wastewater infiltration exists. Organic and chemical contaminants in the effluents can pollute irrigated soil and penetrate the ground water. Similarly, consideration should be given to the distance between irrigated and residential areas or the possibility that carrier systems will intertwine in such a way that low quality reclaimed water will mix with drinking water conveyed to households. If implemented improperly, the use of effluents for irrigation can become a source of pollution and pose a hazard to public health. Among the most severe dangers are pathogens from the effluents that can cause diseases among consumers of the agricultural products and among the farmers.

It is not always feasible to recycle sewage close to the populated municipal centers. In some cases it is necessary to channel it to the target agricultural center where it is to be used. The primary objective is to develop storage, treatment, conveyance and irrigation practices that enable safe use of effluents for agriculture and industry including:

  • Adoption of irrigation practices that minimize spread of human, animal and plant pathogens.
  • Minimization of soil and groundwater pollution.

1.1 Projects in the Rift Valley and Jordan

In order to recycle sewage in large amounts – tens and even hundreds of millions of cubic meters – several treatment plants will be required. In some cases new installations will have to be constructed, while in others, as in the Amman plant, expansion of existing capacity is called for.

The development of local municipal plants in large communities (over 100,000 urban residents) in Israel, Jordan, and the West Bank requires vast financial resources. The required investment increases over time, as a function of population growth.

Moreover, the cost of effluent reclamation is greatly dependent on the quality of water the system seeks to attain; this depends, in turn, on the type of crops that are earmarked to be recipients of the reclaimed water. Usable treated wastewater ranges in quality from "secondary effluents" (extremely restricted agricultural use) to "reclaimed water" that has undergone the SAT (Soil Aquifer Treatment) process. The quality of the latter approaches that of drinking water and can be used unrestrictedly for agricultural and industrial purposes. "Tertiary effluents" quality refers to water which has undergone physiochemical processes, including disinfection and can be used unrestrictedly for irrigation.

Table no. 3 exhibits the unit investment costs involved in producing different water effluent levels in various plant sizes. For secondary and high secondary water quality, economies of scale are limited to relatively small plants. For the production of tertiary quality water, significant economies of scale can be realized for larger operations

Table No. 3:
Unit investment costs of treatment ($/cu.m/yr.)

Treatment level Plant Size (MCM/YR.)
  1 5 30
Secondary 0.8 0.5 0.7
High secondary 1.0 0.5 0.7
Tertiary 3.5 1.6 1.2

Source: Ben Gurion University of the Negev and Tahal Consulting Engineers, Israel Water Study for the World Bank, Beer Sheva, 1994.

In addition to treatment costs, storage and conveyance costs must be considered. The total cost per cubic meter of recycled water for the 2010 plan ranges from $0.16-0.42 per cubic meter. These figures do not include secondary treatment costs which are required even for direct disposal. An initial estimate of required investment amounts to $200-250 million per year for at least 10 years.

Wastewater treatment in the Upper Jordan Valley

Israel and Jordan have agreed to prohibit the disposal of untreated municipal and industrial waste into the course of the Yarmouk or Jordan Rivers. Treated water reaching these rivers is to meet standards allowing for unrestricted agricultural use.

Implementation of this prohibition shall be completed within three years. It requires treatment of the wastewater and/or disposal of effluents outside the reaches of the above-mentioned rivers. One method of disposal is reclamation for reuse in irrigation. This demands the provision of sufficient environmental safeguards, including safeguards to water sources.

The objective of this project is to plan the facilities that will enable effective implementation of the prohibition.

Areas under consideration in Israel include:

  • localities along the shores of the Sea of Galilee that at present dispose effluents in the saline springs diversion system or to sites south of the Sea;
  • localities south of the Sea of Galilee and north of Tirat Zvi that currently dispose effluents to waterways leading to the Jordan River between the Sea and Tirat Zvi.

In Jordan the area will include all localities that currently dispose effluents to waterways leading to the Yarmouk River and to the Jordan River north of Wadi Yabis.

The project is comprised of:

  1. On the Jordanian side:
    • The construction of wastewater collection networks;
    • The construction of wastewater treatment plants;
    • The installation of treated wastewater disposal systems, preferably land application.
  2. On the Israeli side:

    As above, excluding the first component.

  3. On both sides:

    Treatment of agricultural drainage water for appropriate reuse.

The investment in this project is estimated at $ 80 million.

1.2 Gaza

The preservation and supplementing of water sources for the Gaza Strip is a particularly acute problem. The primary causes of deterioration of water quality in Gaza include: seawater encroachment, uptrend of leisure activities, irrigation by saline water, excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides, and an apparent infiltration of treated sewage and agricultural drainage into the water system.

Effluent reclamation in Gaza will have an impact on environmental protection, the protection of underground water from sewage pollution, and the prevention of pollution of the Mediterranean. The project entails restructuring Gaza’s water system and includes:

  1. Collecting sewage water in a primarily underground system. Costs are estimated at between $70-80 million.
  2. Treatment of the sewage water from the greater Gaza City area in mechanical and biological facilities including settling, filtration and oxidation until a secondary degree of purity (for irrigation but not potable). An estimated additional 15 million cubic meters of water will be reclaimed by the year 2000, under the following assumptions:
    • per capita consumption will reach 50 cubic meters;
    • the population of Gaza City and its environs is 500,000;
    • a 60% utilization/recycling rate be realized.

    The estimated cost of implementing the project is $60-100 million.

  3. Conveying sewage water for use in agricultural areas adjacent to Gaza City: 25000 dunams of agricultural crops. The estimated investment in water conveyance and irrigation systems amounts to $15-$20 million. Utilizing sewage water must be governed by suitable health regulations so that the agricultural produce can be sold and exported to various markets. Similar sewage recycling projects can be carried out in other urban concentrations such as Rafah, Khan Yunis, Beit Hanun, Beit Lehiya and suitable sites in the West Bank.

1.3 The West Bank

The development boom which the West Bank region has been experiencing in recent years, together with a high population growth rate (about 3% per annum), is characterized by accelerated urbanization processes and a continual rise in the standard of living of the region’s residents. This will lead to, among other things, expansion and development of the systems for supplying water to the cities and villages, and an unavoidable increase in the amount of sewage.

The geographic and hydrogeological advantage of the mountains of the West Bank in regard to the conveyance and penetration of rainfall into the aquifer, becomes a serious disadvantage with regard to sewage. Part of the sewage not receiving proper treatment penetrates the ground water, while the remainder flows in wadis, creating environmental nuisances, such as breeding areas for mosquitoes and sources of foul odors. This saline water is sometimes used for agricultural purposes.

The high costs involved in the construction of modern sewage treatment and disposal systems m the region, do not permit the cities to meet the challenges of establishing such facilities alone, and international assistance is urgently required.

Master Plan for Sewage Treatment and Disposal

The Master Plan for the West Rank region outlining principles for sewage treatment and disposal was completed in 1983, with the following goals:

  1. to prevent pollution of groundwater;
  2. to prevent aboveground nuisances;
  3. to divert the effluents to agriculture.

Since completion of the plan, many changes in the water supply system have occurred, both in the urban and industrial sectors. In addition, the authorities have imposed stricter requirements for sewage quality. The goals and specific aspects of the plan are relevant for future planning purposes.

Planning guidelines

  1. Topography – The West Bank region is a mountainous region with a generally longitudinal central mountain range running in a north-south direction, creating two latitudinal watersheds.
  2. Urban dispersal – With more than 500 settlements in the planning area, the lack of urban planning and the great dispersal of the population make it difficult to promote regional solutions for the sewage problem.
  3. Population – The rapid population growth calls for the planning of modular systems for relatively short time intervals (5-10 years for a module).
  4. Land and agriculture – There are large concentrations of agricultural land, around most of the large cities in the West Bank, to which treated effluents can be diverted in the future. In situations in which there is no available land near sewage-production regions, or in hydrologically sensitive areas, it will be necessary to transport the effluent to regions where it can be properly exploited.
  5. Required purification level – The minimal purification level required for agricultural use (except in the case of vegetables) at the outlet from a treatment plant, is 20 mg/liter for the BOD (biological oxygen demand) and 30 mg/liter of suspended solids (SS).
  6. Industrial sewage – Extensive industrial development is expected in the region, including the development of industries emitting hazardous industrial sewage, which will require separate treatment or pretreatment to ensure "homogeneity" in the composition of the domestic sewage.
  7. Projection of water consumption – The water consumption in the region is expected to rise due to the population growth, the rising standard of living and improved efficiency of the water supply, as follows:
Planning
period
Per capita consumption
Liters/day cu.m/year
1995-2000 70 25
2001-2010 100 36
2011-2020 120 43

The projects refer to private, public and industrial water consumption at the end of each planning period.

Cost estimates

It is expected that the cost of developing collection, treatment and disposal for the seven main cities and 50 villages in the West Bank over the next 15 years will be approximately $400 million. Cost estimates were made for seven selected cities (Jenin, Tulkarem, Nablus, Kalkilya, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron) and 50 large villages which not have a central sewage collection system. The total population of the 50 villages is estimated to reach 0.6 million in the year 2010 and must be taken into account in the long-term planning according to the following:

Facilities: Cost
($ million):
Treatment and disposal facilities for the seven selected cities 109
Central sewage system for 50 villages
= $4 million x 50
200
Sewage treatment and disposal system based on $150 per person
= $150 x 0.6 million residents
90
Total cost (1995-2010) 399

1.4 Aqaba-Eilat-Taba

In the Aqaba-Eilat-Taba region, a substantial increase is anticipated in water consumption in the urban-domestic sector and in the hotel and resort industry. The quantity of sewage water currently surpasses the treatment in Israel and recycling capabilities of existing facilities. Possibilities in this field are varied, and include collecting the water, treating it, upgrading it to various levels and carrying it to various destinations in the agricultural sector of the region. Technologies exist and some have already been tested in the region (including new technologies for purification).

Upgrading the sewage and waste disposal systems in Eilat*

Eilat has undergone tremendous growth over the past decade, evidenced not only by the ever-increasing number of hotel rooms, but by the number of permanent residents as well. This growth is expected to accelerate, given the recent inauguration of open borders with Jordan.

As a result of this growth, the municipal sewage system is being subjected to loads unanticipated at the time of its original construction. The city is currently faced with a need to restructure and augment its current sewage system, in order to safely handle current loads and facilitate new construction in the area. Investment in a new waste treatment and disposal system is required. The need for upgrading the sewage and waste disposal system is particularly acute in light of plans to jointly develop a Red Sea Riviera together with Jordan and Egypt as a major international tourist destination.

Currently, Eilat has a sewage disposal system designed to guarantee "zero flow to the sea". Built a decade ago, the treatment plant is based on treatment in sand ponds and a seasonal reservoir. This system was less costly than alternative technologies considered at the time. Unlike other municipal centers, Eilat was forced to erect this plant close to the city center. System overload has led to periodic breakdowns, that have in turn compromised the "zero-flow" policy.

The problem of sewage discharge into the Gulf and the severe marine pollution has become of concern to all riparian countries. Recently, a program has been developed for conveying the sewage of Eilat northward to a reservoir where it is treated and used for irrigation in adjacent agricultural settlements. Some of the sewage is already being diverted northward, thus decreasing the amount of sewage discharged into the sea. However, this does not solve the problem, and there is an urgent need to upgrade and improve the whole sewage system of the city.

A comprehensive municipal plan to restructure the sewage system in Eilat is estimated to cost $43.5 million, to be invested over a period of 4-5 years. This means that between $9-11 million dollars is required annually, a sum that roughly equals 25% of the entire municipal budget. Without outside sources of financing, the city will be forced to slow down the pace of instituting these measures, a measure that can adversely affect the development of the region as a whole.

The major components of a comprehensive plan to restructure the sewage and waste disposal system in Eilat are:

Improving the infrastructure in the inner city. The current system constitutes a significant constraint on the development potential of the inner city and surrounding environs. The existing inner-city sewage system is unable to support municipal expansion. It is estimated that a total investment of $19 million will be required to adequately revamp and expand existing sewage infrastructure in the city’s residential neighborhoods.

Improving the main conduit system from the city to the treatment plant. This includes enlarging the main pumping station into which all the city’s waste drains on its way to the treatment plant. This station is currently pumping at full capacity on a regular basis. The estimated required investment is $3.3 million.

Improving the quality of wastewater treatment. In order to meet increasingly stringent environmental safety and health standards, the city will have to improve its current treatment facilities. This project is currently in the planning stage and initial estimates call for an investment ranging between $6-10 million to bring the system up to standard.

Improving the sewage disposal system. In order to avoid dumping sewage into the sea, Eilat, in conjunction with the Eilot Regional Council has built a system in which the urban wastewater is channeled to agricultural settlements for irrigation. Currently, such water irrigates fields as far as 60 kilometers from the city limits. In order to upgrade the current regional disposal system, an investment of $10 million will be required.

The forecast for wastewater and effluent reclamation in Eilat ranges between 7.5-12.2 million cubic meters a year for the period between 1990 and 2010. An initial estimate for a project to purify effluent to a level permitted for the unlimited use for agricultural purposes is $80 million. Part of the financing is already available and the project is in the process of being implemented.

Expansion of the Aqaba Wastewater Treatment Plant

The Aqaba wastewater treatment plant is now just below its full capacity. In the near future and as a result of increasing tourism and development due to the opening of borders with Israel, the treatment plant will be overloaded. This requires expansion of the existing plant to avoid negative environmental impacts on the surrounding areas.

The estimated cost of this project is about $ 30 million.

* This material is based on a report submitted by the Eilat Municipality.

Solid Waste Management

2.1 Introduction*

Population growth, rising standards of living and changes in consumption patterns have resulted in the discharge of increasing quantities of waste into the environment worldwide. Each person in Israel produces some 1.6 kg of solid waste a day. The total quantity of waste produced in the country annually by a population of about 5.3 million is equal to 3.1 million tons – with quantities increasing at an average rate of 2% yearly. In a country with meager land resources on the one hand, and ever-increasing quantities of refuse on the other, sound management of solid waste is imperative,

Until recently, no comprehensive solution existed for the country’s solid waste problem. In 1993 some 96% of Israel’s domestic waste was landfilled in about 550 waste dumps, most of them poorly designed and managed, and many having reached or almost reaching full capacity. In June 1993 the government took a landmark decision designed to expedite the establishment of central landfills, shut down hundreds of illegal waste dumps and create an infrastructure for environmentally-safe solid waste disposal both in short and long terms.

Specifically the decision called for the closure of most of the country’s small garbage dumps within three years, and their replacement by a few authorized landfills – Ashdod and Evron to be prepared and equipped to serve as regional sites on a temporary basis (three years); Duda’im and Talya to be improved to serve as central sites for the country’s waste; the Eriya to be closed and rehabilitated, and Oron to be considered as a central site for the future. The Duda’im and Talya sites have already been bidded out and are to become operational mid- 1996,

All landfill sites will be required to adapt themselves to new state-of-the-art standards in accordance with conditions stipulated by the Ministry of the Environment. They will include the latest technologies for every stage of landfill from siting to post-closure, including sealing, leachate detection, collection, treatment and disposal, methane gas collection and use, proper covering of the waste during operation, closure procedures (landfill capping), and monitoring of possible groundwater contamination during and after closure (up to 30 years). It is estimated that by 1997, some 80% of the country’s waste will be safely discarded at environmentally-sound landfills.

* Based on material contributed by Messrs. Yossi Inbar, Ilan Nissim and Dekel Amir-Shapira

2.2 Regional program for Solid Waste Disposal for the West Bank*

2.2.1 Introduction

The daily amount of waste generated by Palestinians is estimated to be 0.8 kg/capita. The total annual amount produced by the Paleestinian population is estimated to be 460,000 tons, necessitating modifications in the waste collection systems. Modern methods for collection have been adopted in the cities. For example, compacting vehicles and hydraulic lift containers have replaced open trucks. Some of the villages have formed associations for the purpose of joint garbage collection, while others continue to dispose of their waste into dumps adjacent to the villages.

Despite the improvement in collection procedures, the problem of waste disposal in the cities has not been solved. The garbage is disposed in unsuitable dumps creating environmental problems such as smoke, odor, flies, and aquifer infiltration by waste leachate.

2.2.2 Solid Waste Disposal Master Plan

In 1987 the Civil Administration initiated a master plan for the disposal of solid waste in Judea and Samaria.

Objectives

  • Presentation of a planning solution for a 20 years period
  • Demarcation of service districts
  • Organization of regional collection and conveyance systems (waste management).

Planning constraints

  • Population forecast (natural growth)
  • Waste production forecast – population in density communities
  • Hydro-Geological sensitivity
  • Landscape considerations
  • Access routes, transportation problems, transportation distances, service districts and road conditions
  • Shortage of available land and its compatibility with landfill and sealing methods.

Recommendations

  • The "sanitary landfill" method is to be implemented for domestic waste disposal, with other methods, such as incinerators and comport plants, rejected.
  • Seven high priority sites were selected to meet the needs of the region for a 20 year period.
  • The use of transfer stations to reduce transportation costs.
  • Due to the area’s hydro-geological sensitivity, most of the sites are required to comply with strict standards for sealing.
  • Upon completion of the Master Plan, the Civil Administration commenced a detailed plan of the seven proposed solid waste disposal sites.

Two of the seven sites are currently in operation. One is the Abu-Dis site serving the area of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Beit Jalah, and Beit Sahur to the south of Jerusalem, and the A’Ram area to the north. The second site is at Tovlan in the Jordan Valley.

Another three sites are ready for construction, after having passed all the requisite stages of planning and statutory approvals – the Tel Hura site in Hebron; the Azum site near Kalkilya and the Zaharat Funjan site near Jenin.

Plans of the Dir Dibwan site near Ramallah have been completed, but are currently being contested before the High Court of Justice. Plans for the Dir Sharaf site designated to serve the cities of Nablus and Tulkarem are currently in the final stages of statutory approval, with detailed planning not yet completed.

The implementation of the Solid Waste Master Plan can provide an adequate solution to the urgent problem of solid waste in the West Bank. Most of the sites identified by the Master Plan are ready to be established, and are awaiting the involvement of an entrepreneur, from either the public or private sector. The site of Hebron, detailed below, is a good example of a site that is ready to be developed.

* Based on material contributed by Mr. Micha Blum

2.2.3. Hebron East Sub-district at Tel Hura

The following proposal for the construction of a Solid Waste Disposal Landfill for the Hebron East sub-district at Tel-Hura, is an example of one site. While this site serves as a model for other sites, necessary modifications will have to be made, as dictated by the specific conditions of each site.

The site

The landfill will serve the city of Hebron, 10 Palestinian villages and Israeli communities. The landfill site is designed over an area of 175 dunams (17.5 hectares) to meet the demands of about 20 years. The population growth and the solid waste generated were estimated for the same period of time. The landfill is designed to be sealed by double liner High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) to protect the groundwater form contamination. The disposal of waste will be controlled by leachate monitoring, bio-gas collection, treatment systems and daily waste covering.

The landfill site is located south-east of the city of Hebron in a large valley with gradual slopes. The topographical elevations within the site fluctuate between +658 m to +680 m. The covering material for the waste will be excavated at the site itself.

Solid Waste Generation Forecast

The forecast quantities were determined on the basis of 1.3 kg to 1.7 kg of solid waste per person per day for the Israeli population, and 0.8 kg to 12 kg per person per day for the Palestinian population. The average values were based on the assumptions of the Master Plan for Solid Waste Disposal for Judea and Samaria (Tahal – November 1987). The forecast is for 20 years.

Landfill capacity requirements

For design purposes the bulk density of solid waste, including the cover material, (25% of the waste volume) is estimated to reach 0.85 Ton/m3 in 10 years titne. Therefore, the volume of the landfill (solid waste and cover material) is as follows:

Table No. 4: The landfill volume – forecast m3
Year Solid waste Cover material Total
1 49,000 16,000 65,000
5 61,000 20,000 81,000
10 73,500 24,500 98,000
15 91,500 30,500 122,000
20 111,000 37,000 147,000

Landfill planning

The landfill is situated in a valley near the Hebron Carmel main road. From the main road there is a dirt road leading to the site. ‘Me area of the landfill will be 174 dunams (17.5 hectares) and its facilities include: the waste disposal site, service area, parking place, a heavy equipment area, an operation’s service structure, approach roads, sedimentation ponds, drainage ditches and a boundary fence.

The geological formation is mostly Terrain and there is a danger of ground water contamination. Therefore, the sanitary disposal area will be sealed with suitable material and the runoff is to be directed from the surrounding area of the site, to drainage ditches surrounding the landfill. Furthermore, the leachate from the landfill will be collected by a network of drainage pipes, through a central ditch beneath the waste layers. to a collection pit, and from there will be treated by sedimentation ponds.

The waste will be disposed by spreading it in layers of 1.0 m – 1.2 m, and covering it at the end of each working day. The cover material will be locally excavated by creating broad steps (2m high and 3m wide) on the slopes of the valley. The excavated material will be used as cover material on the solid waste layers and will be stored each time on a higher step than the one that was dug before, removing it at the end of the day or when completing a waste layer. The central ditch will be filled with 45 cm granular material 10 to 30 mm in diameter and will serve as a drainage layer. The excavation of the ditch will proceed in an upward direction on the slope, each time the area of the steps is covered with waste.

The compacted waste layers will reach the slope of the hills on the one side and the earth dikes on the lower area at the northern side of the site. The dikes will be 2m high, with slopes of 1:1.5 and 400m long on the average. The dikes will start at +658 up to +680. In case of a need for additional space the landfill can reach a level beyond +680 without affecting the landscape.

The available volume of the landfill from the level of +618 to +680 is about 2.068.000 m3. The volume is calculated for the waste volume alone. The volume of the cover material will balance with its excavation volume.

Prevention of environmental pollution by landfill leachate

As mentioned above, the geological formation on the site is Turonian, feeding the ground water.

The structure of the bottom of the landfill will be as follows:

  1. Compacted subsoil
  2. Clay layer, 50cm thick (K < 10(-7) cm/sec).
  3. Drainage pipe 6".
  4. Drainage layer, 45 cm gravel or sand (K < 10(-2) cm/sec).
  5. Clay layer 30 cm thick (K < 10(-7) cm/sec).
  6. Geotextile layer and 1.5 mm thick plastic material (HDPE).
  7. Drainage layer with drainage pipes.

The service area

At the entrance to the site, there will be a 3.5 dunam service area with space for the storage of heavy equipment, a service structure for the workers, a car wash area, and if needed, a weigh bridge.

Landfill site operation

At the commencement of operating the landfill, 2m deep steps must be excavated at the footsteps of the hills at the south-east side of the site, in order to build dikes from the excavated soil. The dikes will be 2m high with 1:1.5 slopes. The first dike will be built on a foundation of compacted material (Kurkar), protected on the outside with stones compressed into a cement coat. The bottom of the site landfill will be leveled and a main drainage ditch is to be excavated and filled with crushed stones and coarse sand. On top of the subsoil there shall be a layer of compacted clay 20 cm thick, covered with 1.5 mm plastic sheets.

On the HDPE layer there is to be a 2040 cm thick drainage layer of crushed stones and coarse sand, in which a network of drainage pipes and collecting pipes (6-8) will be laid. These systems (sealing and drainage) can be executed at first on part of the site only and continued later after a few years, when the lower part of the landfill is filled with waste.

After preparing the first layer (the sealing layer and the drainage layer) the disposal of waste can commence from the lowest end near the dike. Care must be taken with the daily compaction by using appropriate equipment – a bulldozer with sheep-legs having a large shovel. The compacted layer will be covered daily with 15 cm thick layer. When the waste layer reaches the height of 2m, another dike is to be built resting on the compacted waste layer and on the existing dike.

Cost estimates

The main cost estimates, excluding daily operation costs such as mechanical equipment, is $ 4.8 million.

Control of Flies in the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea Region*

Every summer, between August and October, enormous populations of house flies invade the Jordan Valley and the Northern Arava. The northern Dead Sea area also suffers from this problem, despite continual efforts that have been made to control it. A coordinated program of pest control can be launched between Israel and Jordan, to help eradicate this environmental nuisance.

The following steps are suggested:

  • Mapping infected areas and breeding grounds;
  • Monitoring larvae in the breeding grounds and conducting adult fly counts;
  • Employing preventative sanitation techniques to reduce breeding sites;
  • Controlling adult populations by employing chemical agents and baited traps.

Investment estimated for the various components of this project are outlined below. Estimates are based on a projection duration of 3 years and include allocations for manpower, capital equipment and materials.

Table No. 5:
Projected Requirements for Fly Control in the Jordan Rift Valley
(thousand U.S. dollars)

Project Component Requirements Estimated Investment
Survey and mapping 7 professionals (5 in Israel and 2 in Jordan)
+ 4 vehicles
300
Monitoring with baited traps in breeding centers 1000 traps in Jordan +300 in Israel, 5 people
(1 in Israel and 4 in Jordan) + 5 vehicles, 3 years
290
Spraying adult flies exact insecticide and staff requirements depend on results of mapping 4,500
Chemically treated poultry feed 3 year supply of Larvadex poultry feed 300
Dung burial and covering 3 tractors + personnel, primarily in Jordan 200
Administration and overhead
540
Total 6,130

* This material was contributed by Mr. Uri Shalom.

Reducing the Use and Damage of Pesticides in the Jordan Valley

Introduction

Modern intensive agricultural methods may have negative repercussions on environmental quality and human health. However, agricultural activity can be transformed into environmentally-friendly activity through changes in work processes and procedures, the success of which depend on effective monitoring and control systems, the environmental awareness of farmers and continuous research and development.

Although still in its infancy, integrated pest management (IPM) offers an effective way of dealing with insect control problems and relies heavily on protection and conservation of natural enemies, parasites, predators and diseases that regulate or balance populations of pests. By encouraging natural enemies, the need for chemical insecticides can be reduced dramatically when compared to conventional spray programs. In cases where chemical pesticides are ineffective in solving pest problems due to the development of increased resistance by the pest to the poison, natural enemies provide an effective solution which is safe for user, crop and environment.

The overall goal of the proposal is to implement programs which will maintain or increase crop yields and reduce pesticide use, exposure and health risk. The framework for doing this is the joint Israeli-Palestinian-Jordanian Pesticide Project in the Jordan – Beit She’an Valley. The major crops (on the Israeli side) are cotton, corn, alfalfa, potatoes, carrots, industrial tomatoes, sunflower and safflower; the major pest vector is the white fly (Bemisia); the major pesticide group is the organophosphates. Pilot R&D projects in IPM and exposure assessment in the region already exist, which may serve as a basis for the proposed activities.

It is suggested that a regional integrated pest management system be established, which should include: field projects, research and development, and community based programs which will:

  1. Monitor pesticide resistance
  2. Collect data on enhancing the role of natural enemies to pests and vectors
  3. Expand and evaluate IPM
  4. Assess and control pesticide-associated health hazards to humans and animals.

This package of programs is based on a commitment to maintain crop yield in a self-sustainable manner by reducing pesticide use and protecting worker and community health. The framework is one of full cooperation in sharing of data, project development and standard setting as part of the joint Israeli-Palestinian-Jordanian project.

The proposal requires:

  1. Vertical and horizontal coordination between all components
  2. Core budgeting for personnel, field and lab work, and communication and information sharing.

Participants and components of the project

Israel, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Palestinian Authority will cooperate on the following project components:

  1. Coordination
  2. Pest management at an intercrop level
  3. Health-medical components
  4. Management of Bemisia populations as a key pest in the region.