AQUACYCLE: Lebanese University draws attention to ongoing crisis in country’s water and sanitation sector


Prof Ahmad ElMoll, Team leader of Lebanese University

On the occasion of the 5th project progress meeting of the ENI CBC Med funded AQUACYCLE project, the Lebanese University team, led by Prof. Ahmad ElMoll, drew the attention to the poor situation in Lebanon’s water and sanitation sector.

The countries of the Mediterranean basin, especially the Middle East and North Africa, are suffering in recent decades from increased pressures on scarcely available water resources, as well as a deteriorating quality of surface and ground water resources. The acute water scarcity is not only related to increased demand and the impacts of climate change, but also to poor infrastructure in the water and sanitation sector.

According to the World Resources Institute (WRI), Lebanon suffers from significant pollution of water sources and finds itself in a situation of "extremely high-water stress", due to poor management of the wastewater sector and the lack of efficient and fully operational wastewater treatment plants.

The AQUACYCLE project aims to improve access to water through the eco-innovative treatment of domestic wastewater that can be safely reused in the agricultural sector.  

This Nature-based wastewater treatment solution is particularly focused on small and medium-sized communities, and can also alleviate the overload that is being faced by already existing large centralized wastewater treatment plants.

The system consists of an anaerobic digester, constructed wetlands and a raceway pond reactor for solar disinfection.

The construction of a pilot demonstration unit in Lebanon is foreseen at Deddeh, Koura, located to the south of Tripoli. The quality of the treated effluent will be monitored to validate the efficiency of the wastewater treatment. Aside from the low cost of operation also the environmental and social benefits will be assessed.

An e-training platform on the wastewater treatment system ( has been launched which guides water engineers and technicians on the design and operation of each on the components of the treatment system, complete with short video clips to further illustrate the training material.

It is aspired that this platform will strengthen the capacities of the public authorities in Lebanon who are involved with the design, operation and monitoring of wastewater treatment systems, and that the eco-innovative wastewater treatment solution will bring a much needed supplementary, all-year-round, reliable and safe supply of water to the agricultural sector.

For more details on the ongoing crisis in Lebanon’s water and sanitation sector, read up on the Opinion Article that was issued by the Lebanese University team in November 2020, which can be accessed through this link.

Follow this link for more information about the outcomes of the 5th project meeting.