Author: Menachem Adoni
As part of the cooperation that exists between the Agriculture Officer at the Civil Administration and the Palestinian Authority, a seminar was held on the subject of using reclaimed water for agriculture, which aimed to transfer knowledge and increase awareness among the Palestinians about the use of reclaimed water for agriculture.
Due to the lack of potable water for irrigation in the West Bank, the Agriculture Officer at the Civil Administration held seminar on the subject of water resource utilization with 22 representatives of the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture from all over the West Bank, in order to transfer knowledge and acquired experience to the Palestinian side.
During the seminar the sources and water balance in Israel were reviewed, as well as the development of the process of using reclaimed water in Israel, the field of reclaimed water with an emphasis on improving environmental quality, water quality - pollution and salinization, the impact of water quality effluents on land, crops and the cumulative effect on public health, using "gray water" for agricultural irrigation, providing tools for environmental education and more.
During the training, representative of the Palestinians participants briefed the participants in the projects carried out by the PA, including: an experimental station for sewage treatment in Nablus with capacity of 6000 cubic meters per day, an experimental station for sewage treatment in Jenin and plans for an experimental station in Jericho.
The Agriculture Officer at the Civil Administration stated that "representatives of the PA Ministry of Agriculture showed interest in the subject and attached to it great importance for the future of agriculture in the West Bank." As a result of this seminar the awareness of the use of reclaimed water for agriculture was increased. Though the use of reclaimed water is not yet fully implemented in the West Bank, mainly due to a mental block with the Palestinians farmers, who are afraid of the use of water whose sources are from wastewater, it is important to transfer the knowledge and the information in the field due to water shortage in the West Bank and the importance of agriculture to the Palestinian economy.
"We in the Civil Administration attach great importance to the development of the Palestinian agriculture and expanding of the cultivated area to strengthen the Palestinian economy," noted and explained the agriculture officer at the Civil Administration, Mr Samir Moadi. "There is close cooperation between us and the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture, in order of bringing to the Palestinian farmer’s awareness the importance of the use of reclaimed water, by optimum utilization of arable farmland that are not utilized due to lack of water, "he concluded.