Expanding water reuse takes more than just technology; it needs informed policy and responsive regulation.
In 2020, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had more than 75 municipal wastewater treatment plants with the collective capacity to treat over two billion liters a day. While much of the treated product finds beneficial reuse, a significant amount finds no users and must be disposed.
To encourage more uptake, end users need clarity that environmental, health, and other risk factors have been addressed. The UAE's Federal Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MOEI) commissioned Stantec to advise on federal policy and guidelines for the handling and use of recycled wastewater. This included guidelines for designing, operating, and monitoring collection systems and treatment plants. We developed recommendations to encompass environmental and operational standards for the collection, treatment, production, storage, transport, distribution, and use of wastewater and recycled water from municipal and industrial sources.
To bolster implementation, we also developed a tool that empowers the MOEI to monitor compliance and enables stakeholders and end users to extract information applicable to them. The tool makes it easier to track and report progress, test effectiveness, and adapt the framework. Altogether, we delivered a detailed database of the UAE’s current wastewater treatment facilities as well as a forecast for supply and demand and a set of effluent quality standards relevant for each purpose and the local environment.
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