Jericho location and borders overlaid on a map showing Jericho WWTP and water reuse area. SOURCE: Google Earth (31°50'23.16" N 35°29'57.60" E).

Time period :


Implementing Institution/ Organization:


Funded by :

Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA)/ JM/ PWA/ PFU


1) providing the agreed quantities of wastewater to farmers, satisfying their needs and creating a client base, as well are reusing all of its wastewater.
2) Creating income for Jericho WWTP and as such contributes to the financial sustainability of this important environmental infrastructure and reduces the tariff charges to the serviced population.
3) enhancing the potential of date palm agribusinesses in the Jericho district.
4) Producing a safe water for the use of human, animal and plant.

Methodology (approach)

1) A structured questionnaire was designed to collect data from each of the seven farmers in the irrigation area. It was designed after consultation with key people concerned with water reuse at the Ministry of Agriculture and the Jericho WWTP. The farmers, who own and manage large date palm tree farms, are using recycled water from Jericho WWTP to irrigate their farms. Interviews were carried out with each farmer, five of which were carried out in person. Other interviewees included the chief operator of Jericho WWTP and the Director of the Wastewater Reuse Department of the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA).
2) The questionnaire included 58 structured questions, in addition to open questions, grouped in the following main categories:
a. General information about the farmers and the irrigated farms
b. Knowledge level of the farmers
c. Practices of recycled water reuse from wastewater treatment plants
d. Monitoring reuse process on farms
e. Prices and quantity of water
f. Incentives and obstacles
g. Impacts of using recycled water from wastewater treatment plants The collected data were analyzed and processed using Microsoft Excel.

Study Results

Date palm cultivation is a fundamental part of the development of the agricultural economy in Jericho, yet its potential has been limited by the low availability of water resources for irrigation. The Jericho WWTP provides an attractive new non-conventional water resource that is already almost fully utilized for supplementary irrigation on date palm farms, representing 8–25% of the total irrigation water used for date palm cultivation in Jericho. The areas of the farms partially irrigated with recycled water from wastewater treatment plants range from 10 to 300 ha, with the average area exceeding 85 ha. Each hectare is typically planted with 140 palm trees. Most of the farmers (80%) mix the recycled water with groundwater. This reduces the salinity of the groundwater. 20% of these farmers have also reduced the volume of chemical fertilizers they add to their soils due to the increased nutrients in the recycled water – all farmers in the area use both chemical and organic fertilizers. The farmers have not observed any negative impacts on the soil since irrigation through the reuse project started and likewise, all of them affirmed that they had never witnessed any disease outbreaks in humans, animals or the irrigated date palms. In terms of employment, each farm has 2–30 full-time workers and represents the main source of livelihood for both owners and employees so are hugely important. The marketed effluent is beneficial for the farmers and the general public as it brings back revenues that cover almost 30% of operational costs. The demand for treated effluent produced at the Jericho WWTP is such that the recycled water is used to its maximum limit for date palm irrigation, in an area with limited availability of other water resources. In fact, there is a waiting list of farmers who want to join the scheme as soon as capacity increases. Those that are already receiving the recycled water are highly satisfied. They have not experienced any negative impacts on either the quantity or the quality of the dates, or the general environment. On the contrary, farmers are seeing positive impacts. The Jericho WWTP is not yet operating at full capacity, which is predicted to reach four times current production. This means the scalability potential of reclaimed water use in the date palm farms in Jericho is very high. Likewise, because of the great success of Jericho the wastewater treatment and reuse scheme, from socio-economic and environmental perspectives, the high replicability of the project is foreseen not only in Palestine but also in other countries in the region with similar conditions.


Minimum water quantity can be guaranteed Benefits of side product Low energy requirements Advanced system of water purification Associated social, environmental and economic benefits

High price of treated effluent Not enough storage is available for surplus water during some seasons

Water conservation policy Demand for reclaimed water is higher than plant potential High acceptance of treated wastewater as a water source Public awareness of the water scarcity problem and the potential of the new source Increasing drought period Increased use of bio-solids (sludge) is possible Emphasis on alternative sources of water Easy social marketing of the benefits of the product

Improper operations and management arrangements can endanger functioning Possible health risks to operators, neighbors, farmers and consumers If the team does not fully appreciate the potential benefits of monitoring and reflection, it will not be implemented adequately No full recovery of CAPEX and OPEX Low coherence of stakeholders

Lessons learned

1) Stakeholders require more knowledge on treated effluent and better coordination, which can be achieved through workshops and meetings that are better organized and more frequent.

2) Farmers have indicated the need for training on the use of treated effluent for more productive and safer use of the resource.

References (resources) Found is the case study

JICA (Japanese International Cooperation Agency). 2011. Preparatory survey report on the Jericho wastewater collection, treatment system and reuse project in the Palestinian interim self-government authority. State of Palestine, Palestinian Water Authority, Ramallah, Palestine. JICA and NJS Consultants Co. Ltd. Available at (accessed September 7, 2022).

JICA. 2014. Opening Ceremony for Jericho Wastewater Collection, Treatment System and Reuse Project. Available at (accessed September 7, 2022).

MOA (Ministry of Agriculture), PWA (Palestinian Water Authority). 2014. Identify an integrated economic policy to encourage farmers to reuse of treated wastewater in irrigation. Palestine. MOA; PWA.

MOA. 2016. National Agricultural Sector Strategy (2017-2022): Resilience and Sustainable Development. State of Palestine. Ministry of Agriculture. 59p. Available at pal174456E.pdf (accessed September 7, 2022).

PCBS (Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics). 2019. News PCBS: Press release for the students who sit for the general secondary school certification examinations “Tawjihi”. State of Palestine. PCBS. Available at (accessed September 7, 2022).

PCBS. 2020. News PCBS: Dr. Awad highlights the situation of the Palestinian women on the eve of the International Women’s Day. State of Palestine. PCBS. Available at default.aspx?lang=en&ItemID=3679 (accessed September 7, 2022).

PSI (Palestinian Standards Institution). 2015. Treated wastewater – treated wastewater effluent for agricultural purposes, Palestine Standard: PS 742-2015 (2nd edition). Treated Wastewater Standards. Ramallah, Palestine. PSI.

PWA (Palestinian Water Authority). 2014. Palestinian National Strategy for Water and Sanitation toward building Palestinian State from a water perspective. State of Palestine. PWA.

PWA. 2017. Study of the state and the economical importance of the reeuse of treated water in the West Bank (Palestine). State of Palestine, PWA.

Smithers, R.; Harrison, M.; Mimi, Z.; Hardan, K.; Abdelall, S.; Hasan, A. 2016. National adaptation plan to climate change. State of Palestine. EQA. (Palestinian Environmental Quality Authority). 216p. Available at adaptation_plan__state_of_palestine.pdf (accessed September 7, 2022)


JICA: Japanese International Cooperation Agency
JM: Jericho Municipality
MOA: Ministry of Agriculture
PFU: Palestinian Farmers’ Union
PWA: Palestinian Water Authority
WWTP: Wastewater Treatment Plant