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Project Urban Water Management

The Italian City of Pisa cooperates with Lebanese and Palestinian local authorities to improve local water and waste water services:

Improved and more effi cient water and waste water management is a major challenge facing local governments
in the Eastern Mediterranean, where natural water resources are scarce and threatened by over-exploitation.
Although piped sewerage systems may cover some parts of larger cities, there is usually no waste water treatment,
and, in most urban areas, in particular in smaller towns, most households still rely on cesspits or septic
tanks. Th is results in continuous contamination  of groundwater resources.

For example, in the Mount Liban district of Lebanon there is a very basic and poorly maintained wastewater
management system in only two of the nine municipalities participating in the project. Th e other seven have no
wastewater management system at all. Meanwhile, due to its location in the Jordan valley, close to the lowest point
on earth (250 m below sea level), the city of Jericho is threatened by flooding and run-off water. Th e non-regulated use of river water means there is insuffi cient water in summertime for drinking water and agricultural needs. Contaminated water, and the lack of water treatment facilities, contribute to the lack of adequate water for
drinking and economic activities. 

Th is can lead to water-related disease where people resort to using contaminated water. Major contributing factors are: weak governance capacity of local Mount Liban authorities, insufficient financial resources to develop and maintain the necessary infrastructure, low awareness of local people of environmental issues and increasing impacts of climate change.

The project will help Lebanese and Palestinian partner municipalities train their staff on-the-job in developing
appropriate plans for surface water management and fl ood control (in Jericho) and decentralised wastewater
treatment (in the Chouf municipalities in Lebanon), and in implementing selected pilot projects. Moreover, the
project will also work with NGOs to educate local communities about safe practices.

Project number n/a
Geographical coverage Lebanon, Palestine, Italy
Budget (in €) 722229
Programme Cooperation in Urban Development and Dialogue (CIUDAD)
Web site
Objectives - To develop policies and tools for sustainable water management in urban areas - To improve the quality of water and sanitation services provided by partner LAs, and enable NGOs to support local authorities
Results Development of • Capacity and technical expertise of staff involved to implement sustainable technical solutions for identifi ed problems • Master plan for Urban Surface Water Management in Jericho, • Decentralised wastewater strategy for Federation of Chouf Municipalities, • Guidelines on wastewater sanitation for LAs Implementation of • One urban fl ood control intervention • One water storage intervention • Eight onsite treatment plants • One trained and equipped Sanitation Services unit • Two local communication campaigns
Period 20/04/2010