Title: Appraisal of social and cultural factors affecting wastewater reuse in the West Bank

Authors: Samer Al-Kharouf, Issam A. Al-Khatib, Hafez Q. Shaheen

Addresses: Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction, Ramallah, West Bank, Palestine. ' Institute of Environmental and Water Studies (IEWS), Birzeit University, Birzeit, West Bank, Palestine. ' Department of Civil Engineering, An-Najah N. University, Nablus, West Bank, Palestine

Abstract: The reuse of treated wastewater offers opportunities to reduce the demand for scarce potable water resources. Importantly, social acceptance poses a barrier to the effective use of this resource should the concept not be comprehensively presented. This research highlights the potential for reuse of wastewater, identifies the areas of concern and examines the most important factors that affect wastewater reuse in the West Bank, Palestine. The most important factors considered are social, religious, economic, health, political, freshwater scarcity and institutional framework. It is found that traditions have negative effect on the acceptance of wastewater reuse. The psychological factor is negatively affecting the opinion of the community. Public awareness is weak and the information provided is not sufficient. The research will contribute to the improvement of the environment and sustainable development of the West Bank and proposes guidelines for a strategic plan for wastewater reuse.

Keywords: wastewater reuse; social acceptance; psychological factors; statistical evaluation; West Bank; Palestine; cultural factors; water scarcity; fresh water.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEP.2008.018459

International Journal of Environment and Pollution, 2008 Vol.33 No.1, pp.3 - 14

Published online: 25 May 2008 *

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