SDG 6.3.1: Treatment waste water

The university for its construction project incorporated architectural elements on the campus in which all the requirements related to the surrounding environment were developed and studied, including the lack of a source for use and drinking water, and the absence of an infrastructure that would cover the needs of the buildings included in the project. Consequently, the university infrastructure was equipped with the development of four networks to prevent contaminated water from entering the water system, as follows: 

  • An internal network of drinking water that is distributed to all buildings 
  • A network to collect rainwater from the roofs of buildings 
  • A network for collecting rainwater from roads and land areas 
  • A sewage network and a treatment station (septic tank) 



The wastewater from the bathrooms is collected by pipes to the sedimentation and treatment basins located at the outskirts of the campus, and after the sedimentation stage, the wastewater is discharged into the public piping network of the Ministry of Works. As for the waste in sedimentation basins, it is transported periodically throughout the year for treatment outside the compound. 


Treatment of wastewater and rain water 

Rainwater from the roofs and balconies 


Ground tanks (from R1 to R4 .in blue color) with total capacity of approximately 2900m3 were built distributed over the entire project. Ceilings were designed diagonally to collect water and deliver it to the tanks separately, see next figure, the consumption rate of each student: 

  • Capacity building 900 students 
  • Volume of upper tank 2000×7=14000litres 
  • The consumption rate for each student =2000×7/900= 15.5litres/day 

Rain water from the roads 

The project is equipped with seven ground tanks with capacity of 1400 m3 with a water collection system from the roads. The collected water is used in the irrigation system of the agricultural lands surrounding the project. 

Rain water treatment 

Rain water from roofs and balconies 

 It is collected in lower tanks distributed throughout the project, which work as sedimentation ponds as well. Then the water is drawn into the main upper tank, and from it is drawn into the upper tanks of all buildings after being treated with ultraviolet radiation. The ratio of treated water use to the total amount of water reaches 80 %. See next figure.

Rain water 

 The rainwater that is produced from the roads and landscapes has been used in the permanent drip irrigation system to irrigate the trees and plantings inside the campus, especially during the summer days. See next figure. 


Lebanon has sufficient natural water resources but faces complex challenges due to uncontrolled consumption and increased pollution. The sudden increase in population due to the influx of approximately 1.5 million displaced Syrians has put further strain on the system. The Lebanese government is working on protecting and upgrading water resources, and on the completion, expansion and rehabilitation of the water and wastewater networks. The national water distribution network provides almost full coverage of Lebanon and half of it was rehabilitated by 2017. 

The government is doing work to protect and upgrade water resources, and to complete, expand and rehabilitate the water and wastewater networks. 

Despite this only 37 percent of the population have access to safe drinking water (Figure 1). This is part due to deficiencies in water supply and contamination across the transmission networks, but also because of pollution at the source and unsustainable water extraction practices and uses. Untreated municipal wastewater, and some industrial and agricultural waste, is often discharged into valleys, rivers and the sea. 

Given that the water supply is not continuous, especially during the summer, households rely on private water suppliers (water trucking) or artesian wells. The wells are often established illegally to meet household water needs. For drinking, medium- and high-income households resort to purchasing bottled water, while low-income households use unsafe sources, which can lead to health problems that affect children and other vulnerable groups 

In response to these challenges, Cabinet approved the National Water Sector Strategy in 2012. This aims to ‘ensure water supply, irrigation and sanitation services throughout Lebanon on a continuous basis and at optimal service levels, with a commitment to environmental, economic and social sustainability.’ It calls for increased coverage of wastewater collection networks and treatment capacities; resolved transmission and distribution problems; infrastructure for surface water storage and recharging groundwater. On the demand side, the strategy includes installing metering and volumetric charging. In April 2018, the Water Code was passed by the Lebanese Parliament. This legislation applies international agreements on water, promotes integrated water resource management and provides for delegated management to the private sector. The decrees and decisions pertaining to this law still need to be passed before it can be applied. 

The wastewater network does not fully cover the country and there are regional differences. While coverage is around 80 percent in Beirut, it is less than 50 percent in the Bekaa. Nationwide, access to safe sanitation services is no more than 20 percent. This is due to the institutional and financial challenges facing the operation and maintenance of the existing wastewater networks and treatment plants, which have been exacerbated by the impact of displaced Syrians. This has increased the demand for water by eight to twelve percent and increased the national wastewater generation rate by of eight to fourteen percent. 

The Government of Lebanon has tried to address this issue by completing the wastewater networks and treatment plants planned in the NWSS. Lebanon, as part of its climate change Paris Agreement commitments, has set municipal wastewater treatment targets of 51 percent (unconditional) and 70 (conditional) of municipal wastewater treatment by 2030. The Capital Investment Plan, presented to the international community during the CEDRE conference in April 2018, includes completing ongoing projects, expanding existing plans and upgrading them for secondary treatment, rehabilitating collection networks in selected areas, and completing small-scale works at the municipal level.  This plan also aims to provide additional surface water sources consistent with the NWSS’s projects. OMSAR funds water purification projects for Al-Assi and the protection of marine life from pollution 

The CNRS-L, through the National Center for Remote Sensing, has been implementing several national and international projects (funded by the GEF, WB, EU, Italian Cooperation and others) to integrate water resource management and protect and restore water-related ecosystems. It has evaluated the pollution of water resources in the country and has been monitoring the pollution in the Litani basin and the Qaaroun reservoirs every month for the last seven years using satellite imagery and in situ measurements. In 2018, the CNRS-L established a SDG6 consortium, of 19 stakeholders representing 14 institutes, and released a report called ‘Developing Institutional Capacity for Integrated Approach in SDG6 Monitoring in Lebanon’.