The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan covers a land area of 90,000 km2. The Jordanian climate is semi-arid where 90% of the country receives an average precipitation of less than 200 mm/year, most of which (about 90%) is lost via evaporation (Hadadin, 2007). The high population growth rate in Jordan together with the country's rapid economic development has been accompanied by an increase in water demand, while the available water resources are limited and decreasing. Jordan's water resources are, on per capita basis, among the lowest in the world. The available water from existing renewable sources is projected to fall from 160 m3/capita/year in 2006 to 91 m3/capita/year by the year 2025, which is very low in comparison with the international water poverty line of 1000 m3/year (Alzboon and Al-Ananzeh 2008; Bataineh et al., 2002). This has enforced Jordan to reuse treated wastewater for agricultural purposes. About 95% of the households are connected to the drinking water network, only 54% are served by public sanitary system (Bataineh et al., 2002). More than 70 million m3/year of reclaimed water, around 10% of the total national water supply, is used either directly or indirectly in Jordan and will increase to a share of more than 15% within the next 30 years (McCornick et al., 2002; Bdour and Hadadin, 2005). Therefore, water reuse is considered an attractive option for increasing the available water resources of Jordan.
On the other hand, Germany is rich in water bodies. The total annual renewable water reserve is about 182 billions and only 20.9% of this amount is actually utilized by all users. About 98% of the population is connected to the wastewater system (ATT et al., 2005; Barjenbruch, 2008). Germany has a good experience regarding wastewater treatment. More than 10,000 wastewater treatment plants are in operation, which provide a good opportunity for researchers to develop and improve wastewater management system.
International cooperation and joint efforts are necessary to set up common goals and strategies and to determine how the environmental work should proceed to be most efficient. Germany supports - financially and technically - many environmental projects in Jordan, especially in the wastewater treatment sector. In order to optimize the benefits of this cooperation, it is important to evaluate wastewater management systems in both countries and to discuss the weakness and the strength elements. When considering technology transfer between countries, which aim at improving management frameworks, it is important to recognize the differences between host and donor countries.
Characteristics of wastewater vary from location to location depending on land uses, variations in living style, discharges of industrial and commercial wastewater, interference between surface and ground water, and both diurnal and seasonal fluctuations. Of course, a basic variable is the amount of water consumed and the amount of human waste discharged (UNEP, 2006). The effective management of wastewater cannot be achieved without accurate knowledge of its characteristics. Wastewater characteristics are necessary for design, operation, collection, treatment, disposal, and reuse. In addition to wastewater characteristics, the applied standards and regulations regarding the effluent wastewater were also investigated. Jordan plans to reuse all its treated wastewater and therefore has imposed that all new wastewater treatment projects must include feasibility and design aspects for wastewater reuse (Bataineh et al., 2002). To ensure that this reuse has no adverse effect on health and environment, the government of Jordan has responded by enacting a series of regulations. Germany also has imposed strict standards to protect its water resources, which has improved the water quality of the receiving streams remarkably (Pfister et al., 1998).
This chapter focuses on management elements in both countries (Germany and Jordan) as an example of the cooperation between north and south countries. This chapter also compares the applied treatment technologies in both countries to determine the effect of these technologies on the efficiency of treatment. This comparison could be helpful in transferring experiences, technologies, and management from the developed countries to the developing ones.
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