Opportunities and challenges to out-scaling the use of treated greywater for home farming in Jordan
Jordan is one of the driest countries in the world that struggles to cope with the limited freshwater resources to meet the growing demand from the economy and the domestic sector. To cope with this water shortage, Jordan is considering all possible alternatives of water supply and demand management including the reuse of greywater in the households. The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, in collaboration with Jordan’s National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension, has implemented the Community-based Interventions for Productive Use of Grey Water in Home Farming project that tested and installed 27 constructed wetland systems (CWS) in eight governorates in Jordan. The CWS is a greywater treatment (GWT) technology that imitates a natural wetland to purify grey water through physical, chemical and biological treatment processes. Results from a qualitative and quantitative study of 34 households in Madaba, Karak, Mafraq, Balqa and Amman governorates revealed that rural households are willing to install the GWT units to irrigate their homestead gardens. The GWT units have helped low-income rural households achieve cost and labor savings from reduced cesspit cleanings and purchases of potable water from vendors, especially during the hot summer months. Women were positively affected because the GWT unit equipped with the drip irrigation system reduced the physical toll on women and other household members by eliminating the need to carry water in buckets to individual trees. The public’s acceptance of the greywater reuse is high and it considers it as a practical way to address household water shortage. This paper provides a brief overview of the research results and a set of recommendations that can assist ICARDA and NCARE to develop an effective out-scaling strategy to increase the adoption rate of GWT technology in Jordan.