Treated Wastewater: Quality Concerns and Potential Uses

  • Abdulrahman S. Alsharhan
  • Zeinelabidin E. Rizk
Part of the World Water Resources book series (WWR, volume 3)


To ease pressures on expensive desalinated water and depleting groundwater, treated wastewater represents an ideal candidate as an additional, renewable supply of nonconventional water. The usage of this water can also reduce pollution of aquatic and terrestrial environments.

The UAE uses reclaimed wastewater in landscaping, irrigation of public parks, green spaces and forests. There are 78 large and medium plants for wastewater treatment in the UAE, produced 711 Mm3 in 2015. Thus, the reclaimed wastewater accounts for 14% of the total water resources used in the UAE.

Access to sewage networks is highly variable, and wastewater treatment is only available for areas served by sewage systems. While such systems are entirely lacking in the Emirate of Umm Al Quwain, 95% of residents of the Abu Dhabi Emirate are served by modern and highly integrated sewage systems. About 70% of treated wastewater is used for landscaping, irrigation of green spaces, forest and beautifying streets and roundabouts. Almost one third of treated wastewater either flows into the sea or discharged in desert areas.

The results of evaluating the treated-wastewater quality in Sharjah and Dubai showed that 40% of the treated wastewater used has met national and international standards. Results of the assessment of water quality in an artificial lake that ae supplied with treated wastewater in Dubai indicated the presence of a public risk hazard because the tested microbiological species were above the national standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abdulrahman S. Alsharhan
    • 1
  • Zeinelabidin E. Rizk
    • 2
  1. 1.Middle East Geological and Environmental EstablishmentDubaiUnited Arab Emirates
  2. 2.University of Science and Technology of FujairahFujairahUnited Arab Emirates

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