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Wastewater Reclamation in Major Jordanian Industries: A Viable Component of a Circular Economy

Saidan, Motasem N.; Al-Addous, Mohammad; Al-Weshah, Radwan A.; Obada, Ibrahim; Alkasrawi, Malek; Barbana, Nesrine

Water scarcity remains the major looming challenge that is facing Jordan. Wastewater reclamation is considered as an alternative source of fresh water in semi-arid areas with water shortage or increased consumption. In the present study, the current status of wastewater reclamation and reuse in Jordan was analyzed considering 30 wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). The assessment was based on the WWWTPs’ treatment processes in Jordan, the flowrates scale, and the effluents’ average total dissolved solid (TDS) contents. Accordingly, 60% of the WWTPs in Jordan used activated sludge as a treatment technology; 30 WWTPs were small scale (<1 × 104 m3/day); and a total of 17.932 million m3 treated wastewater had low TDS (<1000 ppm) that generally can be used in industries with relatively minimal cost of treatment. Moreover, the analysis classified the 26 million m3 groundwater abstraction by major industries in Jordanian governorates. The results showed that the reclaimed wastewater can fully offset the industrial demand of fresh water in Amman, Zarqa, and Aqaba governorates. Hence, the environmental assessment showed positive impacts of reclaimed wastewater reuse scenario in terms of water depletion (saving of 72.55 million m3 groundwater per year) and climate change (17.683 million kg CO2Eq reduction). The energy recovery assessment in the small- and medium-scale WWTPs (<10 × 104 m3/day) revealed that generation of electricity by anaerobic sludge digestion equates potentially to an offset of 0.11–0.53 kWh/m3. Finally, several barriers and prospects were put forth to help the stakeholders when considering entering into an agreement to supply and/or reuse reclaimed water.
Published in: Water, 10.3390/w12051276, MDPI