Newsletter and Technical Publications
<International Source Book On Environmentally Sound Technologies
for Wastewater and Stormwater Management>
2.6.2 Institutional arrangement
With few exceptions, the provision of wastewater collection, treatment and
disposal is the responsibility of the public sector either through specialized
water authorities or local municipalities. In Jordan, all these activities are
under the auspice of the Water Authority, while in Yemen the responsibilities of
the National Water and Sanitation Authority is limited only to major cities. In
all other countries, the provision of wastewater management is given to the
municipalities or local authorities. Major cities in Egypt run their own
collection and treatment facilities and provide effluent of good quality to the
Ministry of Agriculture, which directs its reuse.
In Syria, for example, the Department of Sewerage at the Ministry of Housing
and Utilities is responsible for policy implementation and regulation, while
construction and operation of collection and treatment are the duties of the
concerned municipalities. The effluent is given to the Ministry of Agriculture
In the West Bank, foreign donors rely heavily on NGOs in playing a major role
in the improvement of the wastewater management through community participation.
The involvement of the Palestine Water Authority in major infrastructure
projects for cities like Gaza, Hebron, Ramallah and Nables is directed through
official channels. However, NGOs are still playing a major role of management in
Monitoring the performance of sewage treatment plants in all Gulf countries
is the responsibility of the Environmental Ministries or agencies according to
their pollution prevention laws. These agencies are listed in the information
sources section. In Oman, it is required that each treatment plant owner should
submit a monthly flow analysis showing daily records of the main characteristics
of the treated effluent. In addition to that, regular inspections are done by
the staff of the Ministry of Environment.
In Jordan, the responsibilities of monitoring and law enforcement are divided
among the Water Authority, the Environmental Corporation and the Department
of Environmental Health. The mandates of municipalities include the provision
of monitoring and surveillance. In many cases, the responsibilities become confused
specially for controlling those enterprises or individuals that violate disposal
and reuse regulations.
Most countries have established national committees and focal points to evaluate
and update regulations and standards concerning the quality of effluent used
for irrigation or disposal to the water bodies. The development in legislation
is not going parallel with the growing needs for wastewater treatment and reuse.
Some countries use standards and specifications applied in the most developed
countries like those of California, while others modify the WHO guidelines according
to their own conditions.
NGOs in the region are active in some countries like Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon
and the Palestinian territories. They usually direct their programs toward
lower-income population, launching public awareness programs, training of the
personnel and running of small-scale projects. Their main impacts come as they
act as pressure groups by raising issues of public concerns like pollution
prevention, quality of water and efficiency of treatment plants. Some of the
NGOs in the above countries do the monitoring job in hot spots and in affected
Regional agencies like CEHA and FAO are playing a major role in adaptation of
new regulations and harmonizing existing laws among countries. They also
encourage the establishment of regional standards for reuse of wastewater in
agriculture, industry or artificial groundwater recharge. They recommend that
regional experiences with effluent reuse should be made more widely available
for other countries. They also recommend that legislation should be established
to advance construction of sewerage systems and treatment of the industrial
wastewater before disposal.