The use of greywater for irrigation of home gardens in the Middle East: Technical, social and policy issues
The use of untreated household greywater for home garden irrigation is an increasingly common phenomenon in the water-stressed Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, particularly among the poor. Most decentralized systems to date have proven to be relatively costly with doubts over their long-term financial viability. This paper describes some decentralized approaches to treating greywater and reducing health risk. It examines financial and social obstacles to wider greywater system uptake, and policy and regulatory incentives that are needed to allow water-stressed communities to use their greywater legally and with controlled risks. Comments are also included on the implications of the 2006 WHO guidelines for the safe use of wastewater, excreta and greywater. Policy makers also need to commit to either encouraging or discouraging greywater use as part of water resource optimization and demand management measures.