Water Strategy-Ministry of Energy and Water Resources
A 25-year national water strategy unveiled by Minister of Energy and Water Resources Gebran Bassil, aims to increase Lebanon’s water supply to 1,862 million cubic meters by 2035 and close the existing water deficit. The current water demand in a dry year is around 1,474 million cubic meters compared to supply 1,191 million cubic meters leading to an annual deficit of 283 million cubic meters. He forecast demand to rise by 2035 which would result in a yearly deficit of 600 million cubic meters, if no measures were taken. The Ministry’s plan would rise water supply to 1,862 million cubic per year and result in annual reserves of about 62 million cubic meters. He noted that the sector requires total investment of $7.7 billion and $2 billion in operation expenditures in the ten upcoming years.
The water distribution network which is 25-year old is in need of upgrade and rehabilitation in order to reduce the high level of water waste that reaches 49 percent.
The water strategy includes the building of wastewater plants to raise the level of wastewater treated from 6 to 80 percent in 2015 and 95 percent in 2022. The plan aims to develop the basic infrastructures through building dams that would generate an additional of 670 million cubic meters annually in addition to upgrading the management of the sector by implementing institutional, commercial and financial reforms. The plan includes the installation of one million water counters with the aim to cover 25 percent of users by 2012 and 75 percent by 2015.The rate of bill collection should increase from 47 percent currently to 60 percent in 2012 and 80 percent in 2015.
The Minister considered that the Ministry of water authorities is understaffed and that number of employees should increase from 4,050 to 1,342 to reach the global ratio of three employees per 100 users.
Source: Lebanon This Week, the economic publication of the Byblos Bank Group.2011
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