Water Tariffs as a Solution for Water Shortages in Lebanon

Academic Paper, 2019

19 Pages, Grade: 2,3




2. Water Situation in Lebanon
2.1. Water Sources
2.2. Problem
2.3. Water Demand
2.4. Institutions and Legislations
2.4.1. Institutions
2.4.2. Legislations:

3. Economic Instrument: Introducing Water Tariffs and increasing blocks: Theory and Practice

4. Tariffs for Lebanon
4.1. Former Trials
4.1.1. Advantages:
4.1.2. Disadvantages:
4.2. Current Situation and implementation

5. Conclusion

6. References

1. Introduction

Humans are depleting natural resources (Rezac, 2018). As a result, the UN established 17 Sustainable Development goals in 2015 to help solve global issues related to education, health, economy and environment. Water is one of the most important resources that is being misused. It represents 80 % of earth's surface Goal number 6 was set to provide all the people around the world with clean water and sanitation. Also, every year on March 22nd, the world celebrates world water day to focus the attention on the importance of drinking water and develop a good water management plan around the world. Some countries are blessed with water more than others, some of them are Brazil, USA, and Nigeria. Lebanon, a country in the middle east, in a semi-arid area, is less rich in water than the mentioned countries, yet it is popular for having good amount of water compared to other countries in the Arab World; the Middle East and North Africa. (Nadim Farajalla, 2015)

There is an increase in scarcity ofwater resource in Lebanon. The mismanagement of water is causing water stress in the country. The reasons for this are the increasing domestic need due to the increase in population, industrial growth, and development of irrigated agricultural lands and practices. The government has tried several ways to solve this problem, yet the situation of water sector is still the same in the last three decades. Legal policies are not defined well and corruption prevents implementation and follow-up on the governmental and individual level. (Wafaa Mahrous Amer, 2001)

This paper is used to study possible economic solutions to the water shortages in Lebanon. Chapter 2 mentions the current water situation and talks thoroughly about the reasons, effects, and previous attempts of solutions. Chapter 3 defines the theoretical approach of increasing block of water tariffs. Chapter 4 discusses the application and current situation of water meters and the challenges happening, and finally chapter 5 gives a final conclusion on whether this instrument is possible to achieve better water situation or not.

2. Water Situation in Lebanon

2.1. Water Sources

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 1: Lebanon 's Water sources and Services (Walnycki & Husseiki, 2017)

Number one in the figure shows how the mountain snowcaps and aquifers supply freshwater in Lebanon. Then number two illustrates how groundwater provides 50% for irrigation and 80% for drinkable water. Moreover, number three shows the refugee camps and how they rely on unregulated informal water supplies and some water is delivered to them by non-governmental organizations. In addition to that, before the Syrian crisis and immigration, 8% of all water consumed was treated before discharge into the environment: the percentage of treated water in the MENA region is just 32%, and this is shown in number four in the figure. Last, number five demonstrates how in Lebanon, the latest studies show that only 3% of waste water, doubtfully, are being treated (secondary biological treatment) before releasing into groundwater, coastline sea, rivers, and streams. (Walnycki & Husseiki, 2017)

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 2: Water Sources in Lebanon, by: 1 MEW in 2010, 2 MOE in 2002 (Sirawan & AKL, 2012)

2.2. Problem

Although Lebanon is blessed with a decent amount of water compared to drier countries in the middle east, this water is going to waste. First of all, the sewage system is mismanaged since long ago, and according to Ziad Abichaker, an Environmental Engineer and waste water specialist, ninety percent of the wastewater in Lebanon goes into the sea untreated. And since Lebanon is a country on the Mediterranean, there are cities on the coast, and they could smell the waterwaste every day. Also, the beaches in the popular cities such as Jounieh, Byblos, Batroun, and Tyre, are a center of touristic attention, and a major swimming area for locals, and with the sewage there, the bacteria is causing chronic illnesses and skin infections among the people. Also, other types of waste are being dumped into the sea such as plastic, metal, wheels, and more. Fishing is a common practice in the coastal cities in Lebanon, and fishermen have been reporting catching waste instead of fish. (Moussa, 2018)

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 3: Aerial view of Beirut showing the polluted sea from sewage discharges and factories. © Nasa Earth Observatory

Other types of waste that goes into the sea are from slaughterhouses. They release toxic metals directly to the sea and they are non-biodegradable which leaves them there to kill the marine life and put the lives of other species into risk. (Korfali & Jurdi, 2012)

In addition to polluting the sea, groundwater is also deserted by the government and mistreated and depleted by the citizens. Because of the poor water network supply for households in Lebanon, a vast number of illegal private wells have been dug. According to a study by Dr. Roland Riachi, there are 50 to 80 thousand private illegal wells dug in people's private lands in Lebanon. This is a dangerous number seeing that there 650 public legal wells that are used to supply domestic water network for the public. Before the civil war in 1975, there existed less than 3,000 wells. Therefore, this vast increase in illegal wells mainly comes bythe Lebanese people looking forindependence within a poor public network, that was during the civil war and in in the following time of renovation phase. (Stamadianou, 2015)

As a result, this problem affects the economic situation in Lebanon in so many ways. The World Bank published a study in 2004 that showed that the total social costs of environmental destruction to Lebanon was at 2.8 to 4 percent of the GDP, and of which 1-1.3 percent is because of the bad water quality. Another World Bank research, recently, reported that the overall cost of mismanagement of water in Lebanon is around 2.7 percent of the GDP annually. (Stamadianou, 2015) According to Dr. Riachi, an economics professor at the American University of Beirut, "The main part is the private opportunity costs that are around 1.3% of the GDP (almost 308 million USD). This associates with the domestic expenditure on off-network water supply, costing households almost 80 percent of their total budget distributed to water supply and delaying investment in other basic needs, health, education, and household production. The most noticeable sources of private water supply, in terms of expenses share, are, by far, private bottled water 52% (gallons, 36% and small water bottles, 16%), followed by delivery trucks (20%), artesian wells (2%) and private networks (1%)." (Stamadianou, 2015)

After looking at some of the causes and effects of the water situation, it is important to look at the sources of water demand in Lebanon.

2.3. Water Demand

Water is a very important resource that we cannot abandon. In Lebanon, the climate is semi-arid, and the summers are intensely hot, and the increase in water demand varies among sectors. The water demand comes from mainly domestic, industrial, and agriculture sectors. Domestic need depends on the population and individual use of water per capita per day. The population has been varying since 1930s because of several war events and migrations and this makes it hard to know the future demand amount. As for the daily per capita use, it varies depending on the size of city or town, type of community that lives there, economic condition of consumers, and the water supply system head pressure, metering and price of using water. Table 1 presents the different measures of daily consumption between the year 1990 till the expected amount in 2030 from different sources. The current low is 150 L/capita/day, and the future highest expected is 300 L/capita/day.

Figure 5: Daily consumption rates from various sources (El-Fadel, Zeinati, & Jamali, 2000).

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

As for the industrial demand, there is a lack of comprehensive data about the amount used in this sector. The main source of water for industries in Lebanon is groundwater, and if not managed well, it could cause serious pollution problems to the source since this sector is necessary for growth and development. The demand is estimated to be 130 million cubic meter (MCM)/year according to a study by the MHER, and mentioned to increase 8% per year for the next 25 years. However, a study by the International Journal of Water Resources Development said that this is not possible due to the current regional conditions and that the demand will probably decrease by 3% in the next decade.(El- Fadel et al., 2000)


Excerpt out of 19 pages


Water Tariffs as a Solution for Water Shortages in Lebanon
University of Koblenz-Landau  (Faculty of Natural Sciences)
Environmental Economics
Catalog Number
ISBN (Book)
water shortage, tariff, management, ecology, contamination, legislation
Quote paper
Yara Hijazi (Author), 2019, Water Tariffs as a Solution for Water Shortages in Lebanon, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/1245732


  • No comments yet.
Read the ebook
Title: Water Tariffs as a Solution for Water Shortages in Lebanon

Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free