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The Potential of Wastewater Reuse for Agricultural Irrigation in Libya: Tobruk as a case study

  • Authors (legacy)
    Corresponding: Abdelkader Abdulla
    Co-authors: Abdulla A. and Ouki S.
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  • gnest_01518_published.pdf
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The aim of this paper is to highlight the way towards the exploitation of treated wastewater for food crops production in order to cope with the acute water scarcity and its hazardous consequences. Reclaimed water reuse has not been practiced in Tobruk, and hence, lack of relevant data and information was the major difficulty in carrying out this research. The existing sewage treatment plant in Tobruk city produces about 7,000 cubic meters per day of suitable effluent for agricultural irrigation and safe discharge. This proportion is worth twice as much as the water being currently used for irrigation. Therefore, with proper planning and management, treated wastewater reuse schemes, in addition to their economical and environmental benefits, can be an efficient mechanism to cope with water shortage and reducing the high burden placed on the desalination plant. Wastewater reuse is considered as a reliable, secure, and drought-resistant water source. Owing to the lack of disinfection processes and routinely monitoring data, there is uncertainty concerning the microbiological safety and quality of the treated effluent. Public perception might be the major challenge facing the planning for a reuse scheme as 51 % of the population of Tobruk have shown their reluctance to consume food crops irrigated with treated wastewater. Nonetheless, public attitudes can be fostered by awareness through the media as some people, when the issue was discussed, have shown a positive response. In fact their main concerns were related to public health safety and potential negative environmental impacts which can be addressed through good planning and prudent management.


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Abdulla, A. and Ouki, S. (2015) “The Potential of Wastewater Reuse for Agricultural Irrigation in Libya: Tobruk as a case study”, Global NEST Journal, 17(2). Available at: