H2020 promotes innovative pro-poor concepts in wastewater management
A three-day national workshop took place in Ramallah on 18-20 June 2012 on “Developing Sustainable Pro-poor Financing Strategies for Municipalities Including Cost Recovery Options, Polluter Pays Principles and Investment”. It was organized within the framework of the Horizon 2020 Capacity Building/ Mediterranean Environment Programme by the Arab Countries Water Utilities Association (ACWUA) with the support of the Palestinian Environment Quality Authority.
The course attracted twenty decision makers from more than a dozen municipalities and the central government as well as professionals from water and sewerage associations and water authorities.
The course consisted of three main parts; the first was devoted to identifying the situation on the ground as well as the actual role of an institutional framework within which the municipalities operate in the fields of solid waste, water, wastewater and sanitation. To elucidate the situation on the ground, local case studies were presented and discussed. The concept of objective oriented planning, as a tool for better wastewater management, was introduced and applied in a group exercise. Conventional and new technologies for wastewater treatment and the emerging opportunities regarding the synergies between solid waste and wastewater treatment, etc. were also presented. The agricultural use of treated wastewater, the concept of re-use and cost effectiveness were also elaborated, taking into consideration EU and international standards and guidelines. On the final day, the workshop was devoted to the financial management for wastewater, with a special focus on financing instruments, tariff policies for cost recovery, pro-poor financing and the introduction of the “polluter-pays” principle.
Overall, the workshop was successful in transferring the necessary know-how for improved planning and management in wastewater treatment. By bringing together varying professionals the course provided an opportunity to share experiences and challenges each area has faced and overall created a lasting pool of expertise Palestine can refer to in the future.