Syria’s Crisis and Jordan’s Water Struggle: Lessons Learned

Jordan has had to accept being labeled a Refugee Country since its independence, as the country has absorbed several waves of refugees from neighboring countries in a region of uncertainty.  It began with the Arab-Israeli Wars in 1948 and 1967, followed by the Gulf Wars in 1991 and 2004, and ended with the most recent conflict in Syria, which added 1.4 million refugees to the country’s population. This posed extraordinary challenges to Jordan’s water sector, which lacked the necessary resources to meet the increased demand. Former UN High Commissioner for Refugees and current UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres summed up Jordan’s experience in 2014, saying that “the simple act of providing water to Syrian refugees living in Jordan is a daily miracle.”

lessons learnt by Jordan's water sector from the Syrian crisis

In addition, Jordan’s population has increased from 2 million in 1975 to around 10 million in 2020 due to a combination of organic growth and refugee influxes. Jordan’s urbanization has steadily increased, and in 2020, 91 percent of Jordan’s total population lived in urban areas and cities, up from 86 percent in 2010. The country’s population growth, improved living standards, and other social and economic developments have all contributed to an increase in municipal water demand.

The total municipal demand in 2020 was estimated to be 641 million cubic meters, and it is expected to increase by 31% by 2040, reaching 811 million cubic meters. This will result in a 148 percent increase in the supply gap between demand and available municipal water supply by 2040, reaching 530 million cubic meters. An estimated 20% of total water consumption in 2020 will be reliant on overexploited groundwater resources.

Even though Jordan contributed very little to climate change, it is expected to suffer far more than other countries, with less precipitation, dwindling groundwater resources, and rising temperatures in the forecast.

The UNFCCC predicts a 13.6 percent decrease in rainfall and a 1.6 degree Celsius increase in temperature by 2035. This would imply a 15% decrease in long-term groundwater recharge and a 15% decrease in long-term surface water runoff. As a result, available freshwater renewable water resources decreased from 500 m3 per capita per year to 140 m3 per capita per year between 1975 and 2010 and will be further reduced to 60 m3 per capita per year by the year 2035. This will pose exceptional challenges to Jordan’s water security unless the country develops new unconventional water resources to meet demand.

Furthermore, Jordan’s unique topography necessitates water pumping over extremely high elevational differences of more than 1,300m and long distances of more than 300km between available surface and groundwater resources and population centers. This has resulted in high operating costs, with electricity being the most significant contributor. One of the major challenges confronting the water sector is maintaining current water production while also securing the necessary investments to meet the country’s future water demand.

In terms of water management, the arrival of Syrian refugees in 2011 created a “crisis on top of a crisis.” The northern region was hardest hit by refugees, with the population increasing by more than 20% in just two years. The internal displacement of refugees resulted in a settlement pattern that differed markedly from previous crises. Around 85 percent of the refugees lived in host communities, adding to the strain on already overburdened systems. Prior to the crisis, the population was served by an intermittent water supply regime, which meant that there was no buffer to accept additional needs and demands.

Zaatari-refugee-camp

Syrian refugees at Za’tari refugee camp

The experience in dealing with the Syrian crisis has gifted the water sector with valuable lessons to become resilient in dealing with similar humanitarian and emergency scenarios.

1. Planning

Water and wastewater treatment projects typically have planning horizons of 25 to 30 years. The arrival of a large number of refugees necessitates earlier investments and raises future costs for water resource development. Donor assistance focuses on investments; however, operational costs are not covered. This jeopardizes the long-term viability of existing and new investments because Jordan’s government is unable to fund the additional resources required through its own revenues.

2. Fundraising

To maximize fundraising, it is critical to move away from short-term planning horizons and capitalize on short-term media attention. The fact that settling refugees in countries with similar socio-cultural backgrounds has reduced tensions and required much less funding (Germany, for example, has budgeted 12 billion EUR for settling 1 million refugees on its land) should aid in the more effective use of limited refugee support funds. Operating costs incurred as a result of providing services to refugees must be factored into the funding.

3. Coordination

For targeted and effective action, early coordination among all stakeholders is required. This contributes to lowering the enormous administration and management costs by establishing focal points within national authorities to coordinate and integrate ongoing investment programs and short-term humanitarian assistance.

lessons learnt from Syrian crisis

Integration of refugees within host communities is preferable as a means of accommodating large numbers of refugees while limiting the establishment of temporary camps, but it can only be accepted if the international community guarantees the resources to reinforce and manage the related infrastructure. Establishing a nationwide related refugee development fund, rather than separate individual or bilateral funding arrangements, and having a multi-sector task force manage and use such funds is thus critical.

Final Remarks

The international community’s reduced support forces refugees to internalize within Jordan and migrate to other countries within and outside the Middle East region. Jordan is by far a stable country that has hosted a large number of refugees from various neighboring countries. Experience has shown that refugees stay for an average of ten years or longer, but international support typically declines over time due to ‘donor fatigue,’ which cannot be accepted. If the necessary international assistance is not secured, Jordan’s water sector will be driven from crisis management to a partial meltdown of service delivery, with serious consequences for stability.

Ways to Counter Water Scarcity in Jordan

Water scarcity is a reality in Jordan, as the country is counted among the world’s most arid countries. The situation has been exacerbated by the large-scale influx of refugees due to the Syrian crisis. The current per capita water supply in Jordan is 200m3 per year which is almost one-third of the global average. To make matters worse, it is projected that per capita water availability will decline to measly 90m3 by the year 2025. Thus, it is of paramount importance to augment water supply in addition to sustainable use of available water resources.

water scarcity in jordan

How to Augment Water Supply in Jordan?

There are couple of options to increase alternative water supply sources in Jordan – desalination of seawater and recycling of wastewater. Desalination can provide a safe drinking water to areas facing severe water scarcity, and may also help in resolving the conflict between urban and agricultural water requirement needs by providing a new independent water source.

The other way to counter water scarcity in Jordan is by recycling and reuse of municipal wastewater which is an attractive method in terms of water savings. Infact, the reuse of the treated wastewater in Jordan has reached one of the highest levels in the world. The treated wastewater flow in the country is returned to the Search River and the King Talal dam, where it is mixed with the surface flow and used in the pressurized irrigation distribution system in the Jordan valley.

wastewater treatment plant

Another cheap and natural option for wastewater reuse is the construction of wetlands, and surface water reservoirs, which are water storage facilities that are able to collect and hold rain water for later use during dry seasons for irrigation or even for fish farming purposes. To prevent water loss by evaporation, reservoirs should be covered in a specific way to allow air to enter but with minimum evaporation rate. Another option is to install floating solar panels above the reservoir which will not only reduce the evaporation rate but also produce clean energy.

However, technology-based solutions are also raising several environmental and health concerns. Seawater desalination and wastewater treatment are like large-scale industrial projects which are capital-intensive, energy-intensive and generate waste in one form or the other. The desalination process may be detrimental to the marine ecological system as it increases the salinity of seawater.

Similarly, irrigation using recycled municipal wastewater is causing public health concerns. For example, directly consumed vegetables and fruits are excluded from allowable crops. Further studies should be conducted so as to address health issues that might arise from municipal wastewater usage. Effluent irrigation standards should be broadened to encompass a wider range of pathogens, and appropriate public health guidelines need to be established for wastewater irrigation taking into consideration the elimination of steroids.

New Trends to Lookout For

New intervention is needed to satisfy local irrigation demands; irrigation water for agriculture makes up the largest part of total average water used, which accounted for 64% during 2010. The main period of water stress is during summer due to high irrigation demand, and there is therefore a conflict arising between the supply of water for urban use and agricultural consumption.

There has to be a proper combination between improvement of irrigation methods and selection of crop types. Application of updated water techniques, such as micro-sprinkling, drip irrigation and nocturnal, can reduce water loss and improve irrigation efficiency. Infrastructure improvement is also necessary to improving efficiency and reducing water loss.

efficient irrigation methods

Spray irrigation has higher efficiency than traditional methods.

Crop substitution is another interesting method to increase water efficiency by growing new crop types that tolerate saline, brackish, and low irrigation requirements. Such approach is not only economically viable, but also is socially beneficial and viable to mankind in an arid ecosystem. Mulching system is also highly recommended to reduce evaporative loss of soil moisture and improve microbial activities and nutrient availability. Farmers should use organic manure, instead of chemical fertilizers, to increase quality of water and reduce risk of groundwater contamination and agricultural run-offs.

The industrial sector uses about 5 percent of water resources in Jordan, while releasing harmful substances to the environment (including water). Industries have to put together a water management plan to reduce water intake and control water pollution. For instance, the establishment of a local wastewater treatment plant within a hotel for irrigation purposes is a good solution. Traditional solutions, like Qanats, Mawasi and fog harvesting, can also be a good tool in fighting water scarcity in arid areas.

What to Know About Having a Greenhouse

If you’ve ever been interested in greenhouse gardening, you aren’t alone. Greenhouse gardening lets you grow plants on an extended schedule or have things that you wouldn’t normally be able to grow in your area.

If you’re thinking about greenhouse gardening, the following are some of the main things to know as you get started.

introduction to greenhouse gardening

 

Types of Greenhouses

There are a few main types of greenhouses you’ll initially choose from, including:

  • A cold frame greenhouse is one designed to rely on natural heat from the sun. The sun’s heat creates a microclimate for plants that’s warmer than the air outside. You can extend your growing season, particularly in the weeks that are transitional between seasons.
  • Portable greenhouses come in a range of sizes and designs, and some are small enough to fit on a balcony if you’re in an urban area.
  • Raised bed greenhouses are good for limited spaces, and they are also portable.

When you have a greenhouse, it’s going to work generally by converting light energy to heat. Light will enter a greenhouse, and then it’s trapped by the surrounding material. The light is absorbed by the plants in your greenhouse, and then as part of that, it’s turned into heat energy which remains trapped in your greenhouse. The environment is ideal for plants to thrive no matter the season.

The Benefits

The following are some of the primary benefits that come with having a greenhouse:

  • You get an extended growing season without restrictions on what you grow and when you can grow it. You can plant just about anything, anytime you want. Your garden greenhouse creates a climate that’s warm all year round. You can control the temperature and the growing environment, so you can also start to plant earlier or later in the season. Greenhouse plants you might grow throughout the year include peppers, summer squash, cucumbers, and strawberries.
  • Greenhouse gardens give you more pest prevention. When you plant in the open, it means that animals and bugs are going to have easy access. It’s a lot tougher for pests to get in a greenhouse. You may be able to grow without pesticides at all. As a result, you’re going to get truly organic produce.
  • If you opt for a portable greenhouse, you can move it around different areas of your outdoor space or take it with you if you move.
  • You’re not limited to growing certain foods based on the climate where you live.
  • When your plants are in a greenhouse, there’s a stable environment, so they’re not at the mercy of the elements, which can include major fluctuations in temperature or excessive rain or wind.
  • Since the conditions are more consistent, along with your plants being more likely to survive in a greenhouse, they’re also likely to be healthier.
  • You can have more variety in what you grow. For example, all in one location, you can start seeds, grow exotic plants, and do vertical gardening.
  • You might get a mood boost from spending time in your greenhouse. You can get out of the house even in the cold weather months, and it may help if you have symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Are There Downsides?

As with anything, there are some downsides to keep in mind before you jump in headfirst to greenhouse ownership.

greenhouse-design-ideas

Knowing about these downsides is just as important as knowing the benefits of a greenhouse.

One of the main downsides that you have to weigh is the fact that building a greenhouse can be pricey. Greenhouse kits can cost anywhere from $750 up to almost $6,000, on average. Once you have a greenhouse, you might want to use it more, so you’re going to garden more and need the supplies that come along with that, such as soil and fertilizer.

While the upfront costs can be somewhat expensive, the good news is that operating and maintaining a greenhouse generally isn’t.

Having a greenhouse can get time-consuming because you might spend a lot of time working in it, but for you, this may not be a downside.

While a greenhouse can keep your plants safe and pest-free, if you bring in one plant that has a disease or pests, it can quickly spread whatever it is to the other plants when they’re in an enclosed greenhouse environment. You have to make sure your greenhouse is healthy and clean.

Since greenhouses keep out the majority of pests, that means that pollinators like bees are kept out. If you’re growing plants requiring pollination, as such, you have to do it by hand.

Starting Your At-Home Greenhouse

If you’ve weighed both the pros and cons and decided you want to start a small greenhouse at your house, what should you do to plan it?

  • Think about your goals. What types of vegetables and plants are you planning to grow, and how many of them do you want to ideally accommodate? You also might consider whether you want your greenhouse to double as storage for your tools and gardening equipment.
  • You want to choose the perfect site for a greenhouse because this is one of the most important parts. For example, how much sunlight does the site you’re thinking about regularly get? Do you want your greenhouse further away or closer to your home? Do you want to be able to access it quickly?
  • Will your greenhouse be attached or detached? An attached greenhouse shares a wall with your house, while a detached is standalone. An attached greenhouse gets heated air from your home in the winter, keeping it warm, but it can also be more difficult to heat in the winter. A detached greenhouse, by contrast, can have more ventilation, which is good during the summer.
  • How will you heat and cool your greenhouse outside of the sun itself?

Finally, what’s your budget? You can do the labor yourself and save quite a bit of money. If you hire someone else to build your greenhouse, in addition to the costs of the materials or the kit you use, labor can be anywhere from $50 to $200 an hour.

Food Security Strategy in Qatar

Qatar is a water-scarce and arid region which has its own share of demographic and socio-economic problems. The cultivation of food crops is a difficult proposition for Qatar due to scarcity of water supply and limited availability of arable land. The country is vulnerable to fluctuations in international commodity markets because of heavy dependence on imported grains and food items. The increasing dependence on foreign food imports is leading to a growing sense of food insecurity in Qatar.

Understanding Food Security

Food security is the condition in which all people at all times have a physical and economic access to safe, adequate and nutritious food to satisfy their daily calorific intake and allow them to lead an active and healthy life. Individuals who are food secure have an access to a sufficient quantity of food and do not live in fear of hunger and starvation. On the other hand, food insecurity exists simultaneously and inhibits certain groups of individuals from gaining access to nutritionally adequate and safe food. In the case of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries, food insecurity is related to poor quality diets rather than calorie-deficient diets. A typical diet in MENA region is high in saturated fats, sugar and refined foods which is a major cause for increase in chronic diseases in the region.

There are a multitude of factors which may challenge a nation from achieving food security. Some of these factors include; the global water crisis and water deficits which spur heavy grain imports in smaller countries ultimately leading to cutbacks in grain harvests. Similarly, intensive agriculture and farming drastically influence soil fertility and cause a decline in crop yield. Another notable factor limiting food security includes the adverse effects of climate change such as droughts and floods which greatly affect the agricultural sector.

The impacts of declining crop yields will include a change in productivity, livelihood patterns as well as economic losses due to declining exports. According to the Global Food Security Index, countries which are on top of the food security index include USA, Norway and China. The countries suffering from greatest food insecurity include, Democratic Republic of Congo, Togo and Chad.

Food Security Strategy in Qatar

Being one of the fastest growing economies in the world, Qatar is facing large-scale influx of expatriate workers which has resulted in tremendous increase in population in recent years. Limited land availability, chronic water scarcity and constraints in agricultural growth have led to growing concerns about food security. Agriculture plays a strategic role in the nation’s food security. Qatar imports over 90% of its food requirements due to the scarcity of irrigation water, poor quality soils and the inhibitions due to climatic conditions. Infact, the country is facing an agricultural trade deficit of QR. 4.38 billion equivalent to $1.2 billion. 

In response, Qatar has begun to address the situation by aiming to efficiently utilize ‘cutting edge technology’ to establish a sustainable approach to food security for dry land countries. The Qatar National Food Security Program (QNFSP) was established in 2008 and aims to reduce Qatar’s reliance on food imports through self sufficiency. The program will not only develop recommendations for Food Security policy but intends to join with international organizations and other NGOs to develop practices to utilize resources efficiently within the agricultural sector.

Qatar has established a nation-led National Food Security Program to encourage domestic production which will lead to scientific and technological development in two specific areas to increase domestic production. These areas include development in agricultural enhancement and food processing. QNFSP’s approach to expanding the agricultural sector aims to introduce the best practices and establishing a sector which considers its economic efficiency, optimal usage of scarce resources with limited impact on the environment as well as profitable and sustainable agriculture. A key element of this approach will include the deployment of advanced crop production technologies and advanced irrigation systems. The QNFSP will require well managed stakeholder participation, revised agricultural possibilities and of course a comprehensive strategy for agricultural research.

The nation’s second approach to increase domestic production includes regulations and implementations on food processing. Food processing increases the shelf-life of food, reduces raw food losses and enables the continuity of product availability. By enhancing the shelf-life of food and reducing the amount of food being wasted improves a nation’s food security. The QNFSP aims to develop the nation’s food processing industry by taking advantage of the new industry being established in Qatar which will allow the country to sell its own processed goods on the global market. To meet this objective the nation will need to implement international quality assurance mechanism to be capable of producing high quality products as well as to expand their food reserves and storage facilities.

Sahara Forest Project

In addition to the trenchant efforts being made by the Qatar National Food Security Program, an interesting and promising pilot project named Sahara Forest Project is being rigorously pursed in Qatar. The Sahara Forest Project allows for sustainable production of food, water and energy while revegetating and storing carbon in arid areas.

A one hectare site outside Doha, Qatar, hosts the Sahara Forest Project Pilot Plant. It contains a unique combination of promising environmental technologies carefully integrated in a system to maximize beneficial synergies. A cornerstone of the pilot is greenhouses utilizing seawater to provide cool and humid growing conditions for vegetables, The greenhouses themselves produce freshwater and are coupled with Qatar’s first Concentrated Solar Power plant with a thermal desalination unit.

An important part of the pilot is to demonstrate the potential for cultivating desert land and making it green. Outdoor vertical evaporators will create sheltered and humid environments for cultivation of plants. There are ponds for salt production and facilities for experimentation with cultivation of salt tolerant plants, halophytes. Additionally, the facility also contains a state of the art system for cultivation of algae.

Benefits of Owning a Hybrid Vehicle

Hybrid vehicles are not new; however, their popularity has increased over time. Even though hybrid cars may seem hard to produce, the exact opposite is true.

Hybrids are just cars with both gasoline or diesel engine and a battery-powered electric motor.

A hybrid vehicle, such as the Toyota Prius and the 2022 Toyota Corolla, conserves fuel and emits less CO2 emissions. The purpose of two engines is to reduce fuel consumption and, therefore, to save energy.

Benefits of Buying a Hybrid Vehicle

How Hybrid Cars Work

Any vehicle with two separate power sources can be classified as a hybrid car. Due to the high expense of combining the two, hybrid cars use petrol and electric engines.

There are three main classes of hybrid cars: series, parallel, and series-parallel. Each class uses power and petrol in a slightly different way.

The best hybrids are sometimes termed series-parallel hybrids since a computer system continually analyses the car and switches across driving modes as needed. They are, however, the most expensive than other hybrid varieties.

A plug-in hybrid may be any of the three categories of hybrids (PHEV). Initially debuted in 2010, PHEVs significantly increase the electric driving range by enabling the battery to be recharged by plugging it into an outlet, equivalent to an all-electric car.

What Are The Benefits Of A Hybrid Car?

1. Environmentally Friendly

One of the best things about a hybrid car compared to a petrol-powered vehicle is that it runs cleaner and gets better gas mileage, making it better for the environment.

A hybrid car has two engines—a gasoline engine and an electric motor—that work together to save fuel and energy.

2. Reduced Reliance on Fossil Fuels

A hybrid car is much better for the environment. They don’t eliminate the need for oil and gas, but they use less of them because the internal combustion engine doesn’t run as much. It would be easier to save more fossil fuels if more people drove hybrid cars.

3. Regenerative Braking System

When you hit the brakes in a hybrid car, it helps charge the battery. An internal mechanism kicks in when the energy is released and uses it to charge the battery. This means you don’t have to stop and wait for the battery to charge.

4. Hybrid Cars Are Made of Lighter Parts

This means that they use less power to run, and it also saves a lot of energy because the engine is smaller and lighter.

PHEV

5. Higher Resale Value

With the price of gasoline going up, more and more people are buying hybrid cars. As a result, these green cars are now selling for more than the average price when they are resold.

So, if you’re not happy with your car, you can always sell it to someone who wants one for a higher price.

6. All-Electric Drive

Hybrid cars can be driven with just electric power. This happens when the car is moving slowly, when the engine is idling at a stoplight, or when the engine is first turned on.

Usually, the internal combustion engine doesn’t start working until it’s moving faster, which is where it works best. This helps the car use less gas overall.

7. Automatic Stop/Start

When a hybrid car is stopped, the engine turns off by itself, and when the accelerator is pressed, the engine turns back on. PHEVs can go faster and for longer distances than traditional hybrid vehicles. Hydrogen fuel cell cars use less energy because they only give off water vapour and warm air.

8. Financial Benefits

Many tax credits and other incentives help make hybrid cars more affordable. Because they pay less in taxes each year and don’t have to pay congestion fees, they spend less on fuel.

Is an HEV or PHEV Better?

Hybrids that don’t break the bank go with PHEVs. It feels like an all-electric car but has a gas engine as a backup for longer trips and no “range anxiety.”

Are Hybrids Worth the Investment?

If significantly reducing fuel consumption and emissions is crucial, then yes. Hybrids are often more inexpensive than pure electric vehicles and frequently more responsive than their gasoline-only counterparts.

Do Plug-in Hybrids Have the Ability to Charge While Driving?

They do self-charge because the petrol engine charges the battery pack while braking energy is gathered and stored as electricity.

Some PHEVs can also fully charge the battery while driving. Additionally, you may select to operate in a petrol/electric hybrid mode and preserve the charged battery for later use.

Conclusion

Choosing whether or not to purchase a hybrid vehicle requires more than a desire to be environmentally conscious. You must consider the local resources that may assist you in repairing and preserving the vehicle.

إدارة المخلفات الطبية في دول الشرق الأوسط

قطاع الرعاية الصحية في منطقة الشرق الأوسط ينمو بوتيرة سريعة جدا، الأمر الذي أدى بدوره إلى زيادة هائلة في كمية النفايات الطبية في المستشفيات والعيادات والمؤسسات الأخرى. وفقا للتقرير الصادر من وزارةا لشئون البيئة المصرية، مصر انتجت 28,300 طن من النفايات الطبية الخطرة في عام 2010. وفي منطقة الخليج، يتم انتاج أكثر من 150 طن من النفايات الطبية والمملكة العربية السعودية وحدها تنتج نصف هذة الكمية تقريبا. هذه الأرقام تدل على حجم المشكلة التي تواجهها السلطات البلدية في التعامل مع مشكلة التخلص من النفايات الطبية في جميع أنحاء منطقة الشرق الأوسط.

حجم المشكلة

الكمية المتزايدة من النفايات الطبية زادة من التحديات البيئية والصحية في المدن الرئيسية في المنطقة. وتفاقم الوضع لعدة أسباب منها استخدام طرق غير لائقة للتخلص من هذا النوع من النفايات، قلة في التكنولوجيا المستخدمة، وعدم وجود أبحاث في مجال إدارة النفايات الطبية. الإدارة غير السليمة للنفايات الطبية من المستشفيات والعيادات وغيرها من المرافق في منطقة الشرق الأوسط تؤدي لزيادة المخاطر في الصحة المهنية والعامة للمرضى والعاملين في القطاعات الصحية وإدارة النفايات الطبية وناقليها وعامة الناس. حتي انها قد تؤدي أيضا إلى تلوث الهواء والماء والتربة والتي قد تؤثر على جميع أشكال الحياة. والأهم من ذلك، إذا لم يتم التخلص من النفايات بشكل صحيح، قد تٌجمع المعدات الطبية (وخاصة الحقن) من قبل العابثين بالمخلفات وإعادة بيعها والذي قد يسبب في كثير من الأمراض الخطيرة.

طرق إدارة النفايات الطبية في منطقة الشرق الأوسط تقتصر على الحرق على نطاق صغير أو الدفن. ممارسة دفن النفايات الطبية هي مصدر قلق بالغ لأنه تشكل مخاطر كبيرة على الصحة العامة والموارد المائية وخصوبة التربة وكذلك جودة الهواء. في العديد من دول الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا، يتم خلط النفايات الطبية مع النفايات البلدية الصلبة و / أو النفايات الصناعية التي تحول النفايات الطبية إلى مزيج من المواد الخطرة.

سياسة “من” المطروحة عام 2004 في تفاقية استكهولم، شددت على ضرورة النظر في المخاطر المرتبطة بحرق نفايات الرعاية الصحية لأنها تنتج كثير من الملوثات التي قد تشمل الجسيمات الصغيرة، والمعادن الثقيلة، والغازات الحمضية، أول أكسيد الكربون والمركبات العضوية. في بعض الأحيان الجراثيم قد توجد في المخلفات الصلبة وعوادم المحارق السيئة التصميم والمدارة بشكل سيء. وبالإضافة إلى ذلك، المركبات العضوية القابلة للترشح، مثل الديوكسين ، وعادة ما تكون موجودة في بقايا الرماد السفلي. 
ونظرا لهذه العوامل، فإن العديد من البلدان الصناعية تتخلص تدريجيا من محارق الأدوات الطبية لاستكشاف التقنيات التي لا تنتج أي ديوكسين. ودول مثل الولايات المتحدة وايرلندا والبرتغال وكندا وألمانيا اغلقت بشكل كامل أو وضعت حظر على محارق النفايات الطبية
.

التقنيات الواعدة
التقنيات البديلة لمعالجة النفايات الطبية هي التعقيم بالبخار والتعقيم بالبخار المتقدم، والعلاج بالموجات الدقيقة(الميكرويف)، التعقيم الحراري الجاف، والتحلل القلوية، والمعالجة البيولوجية. في الوقت الحاضر، التعقيم بالبخار هو أسلوب العلاج البديل الأكثر شيوعا. أجهزة التعقيم المتقدمة أو تقنيات معالجة البخار المتقدمة تجمع بين التعقيم بالبخار مع الشفط، والخلط الداخلي أو الجزئي، التقطيع الداخلي، والتجفيف، والضغط مما يؤدي إلى تقليص الحجم الى 90٪..

العلاج الموجات الدقيقة هي تقنية واعدة حيث يكن ذلك عن طريق إدخال الحرارة الرطبة والبخار الناتج عن طاقة الميكروويف. العلاج القلوية هو عملية كيميائية فريدة حيث انها تستخدم مادة قلويه حارة لهضم الانسجة البشرية، والنفايات الجرثومية وقطع التشريح، العمليات البيولوجية المستخدمة في صناعة السماد يمكن أيضا أن تٌستخدم للتخلص من المواد العضوية في النفايات الطبية مثل مخلفات المشيمة.

 

ترجمة

صخر فهد الهذلي- مهندس كيميائي.  جدة، المملكه العربيه السعوديه

Tips for Hot Water Conservation in Households

hot-water-conservationWith the drop in temperatures and persisting cold weather in many Middle East counties, use of hot water at home, offices, commercial centers, educational buildings and institutions have increased many folds. In winter, heating water for showers, laundry and washing makes up more than a third of an average household’s water and energy use, so it is important to heat water efficiently and conserve the water and energy. This is now essential as the cost of both electricity and water are going to rise in the near future, as in Bahrain, and consumers have to pay the part cost of these utilities which were earlier heavily subsidized by the government.

The main areas of hot water usage in residential areas are bathroom and kitchen. Bathing consume up to 200 liters of hot water, depending on the type of dwelling, type of fixtures/ shower head and duration of bath. It also depends on the number of users and their age. Young people tend to use and waste more water as compared to adults. Women consume water than men.

The other usage of hot water is at ‘Laundry’ which consumes significant quantity of hot water. A standard warm cycle on a top loading washing machine may use up to 50 liters of hot water. People think that washing with hot water is more efficient and lead to cleaner and tidy clothes and textiles. However, this understanding is subjective due to good quality of washing powders that are available which can offset the use of hot water and maintain fabric quality and durability. A better understanding of what types of clothes are to be washed is to be made to avoid huge quantity of hot water usage.

The amount of hot water used in the kitchen depends on how we wash our cooking utensils. For dishes washed by hand in a sink full of water will typically use around 10 liters of hot water. It is advisable to fill the sink with mixed hot and cold/ warm water and do cleaning and clearing before rinsing to avoid use of more hot water. This activity can saves a lot of hot water which otherwise goes waste.

The main hot water wastage is when we open the tap and wait for hot water to come while the cold water goes to the drain. Usually all households are careless and do not think it is the water wastage as they wait for hot water to come. The other aspect is leakage in water heater, tank, equipment and piping. A tap dripping at one drop per second wastes 800 liters of water per month.

Here are a few tips to reduce our hot water wastage and for conserving our precious water:

  • Turning the hot water faucet off while shaving or brushing your teeth.
  • Using low-flow faucets, taps and showerheads to reduce water flow and thereby wastage.
  • Ensure geyser, washing machine and dish washers are of right capacity based on the number of users.
  • Install the hot water equipment close to the point of use to minimize long piping and heat loss like installing separate geyser in kitchen and bathroom.
  • Pre–rinse the dirty dishes using cold water, or scrape them clean before putting them in the dishwater.
  • Use washing machine and dishwasher only when the load is full.
  • Do not waste water when you open the hot water tap, collect this water in a bucket and use it for some other purposes like cleaning and watering plants

Living Room Furniture Options That Are Environmentally-Friendly

As of October 2017, the United States Green Building Council reported there were more than 370,000 green homes in the United States. Although green homes made up just five percent of all homes in 2005, the percentage significantly rose to 23% of all American residences in 2017. We’ve come a long way in going green in a short time.

However, there is much more that we can do to make our home more environmentally friendly. While green activists focus on issues such as solar energy and recycled plastic, we have an often overlooked additional opportunity to make our homes green. It is called living room furniture options that are environmentally-friendly. We are not talking about specific types of furniture, but how we can use living room furniture to enhance the environment.

Use What You Got

Sustainability is an eco-friendly term that is frequently misunderstood. In easy to understand terms, sustainability is minimizing the use of natural resources. No other living room strategy has more of a positive impact on sustainability that using other types of materials to design and construct new pieces of furniture. Here are some living room furniture sustainability ideas:

  • Use large jars to design lampshades
  • Build shelves with thick, sturdy cardboard
  • Construct a chair out of books

The last idea offers a two for one benefit, as you use less wood for making a chair and you do not need wood to create a bookshelf. You have a large number of resources available online to help you come up with living room furniture sustainability ideas.

When Old is New

Purchasing new furniture can not only be expensive, it also produces a larger carbon footprint than if you decide to go with used furniture. The stigma of owning so-called hand me down furniture quickly fades when guests to your home understand you are making an eco-friendly statement for your living room furniture options. Here are a few sources of old furniture that you can turn into new living room furniture:

  • Parents
  • Friends
  • Siblings
  • Professional peers

When anyone you know chooses to downsize into a smaller home, the chances are good he or she does not need to move all of the current furniture to the new home. This means you not only might find a bargain; you might also benefit from receiving an older piece of furniture for free. There are also shops and boutiques offering used furniture at affordable prices.

Make Your Own Furniture

Anyone that has a background in woodworking-even a novice-can harness to together a piece of furniture from the oak, pine, cedar, or mahogany wood sitting unused nearby in a woods or a forest. Large furniture manufacturers waste a lot of resources because of the massive amount of materials the companies process to construct new furniture.

If your woodworking skills are not up to par, picking up a few tips online and/or from a couple of woodworking books should be enough information to help you get the ball rolling on an environmentally-friendly living room furniture design project.

Go Green with Coatings and Adhesives

It is not just the materials used to create furniture that determines the level of eco friendliness. You also have to consider the coatings and adhesives used to roll out the finished product.

The key is to avoid leeching harmful chemicals into the environment, which is the primary objective of an exterior coating service that finishes both walls and furniture. Moreover, an exterior coating service will make sure you do not have to repeatedly coat the same pieces of furniture.

Feng Shui the Living Room

Implementing the mindfulness philosophy of Feng Shui can change the energy flow of a room from overly hyperactive to a soothing ambiance that puts everyone at ease.

So, how does Feng Shui create furniture options that are environmentally-friendly? The answer is by using the same principle of mindfulness to create a less busy looking and feeling room.

Less is More

At the heart of Feng Shui and eco-friendly living room furniture options is the concept of clutter free. Many Feng Shui experts recommend addressing clutter in the mind, as well as clutter in the nearby living environment.

There is not a chance of achieving Feng Shui in a living room cluttered with unnecessary pieces of furniture. Use the term streamline or whatever term works best for you, but remember that a clutter free living room is an effective way to reduce your carbon footprint.

Let There Be Light!

Poor lighting is the biggest obstacle to achieving Feng Shui in the living room. Installing overhead and task lighting can turn a once stale looking living room into a vibrant place to entertain guests. A bright artificial lighting system can also make fewer of pieces of furniture shine.

With fewer pieces of furniture, you have addressed the important issue of depleting finite natural resources. In addition to artificial light sources, you can really make a room hum Feng Shui by opening up the shades and inviting the sun in for an extended stay. Sunlight produces an airy, welcoming ambiance in a room that requires fewer pieces of furniture to come together aesthetically.

Balance of Colors and Shapes

The more is not the merrier for living room furniture mantra comes into play when discussing the importance of establishing Feng Shui. By focusing on achieving design balance in colors and shapes, you quickly realize that a few pieces of furniture are no longer a good fit for the highest traffic area of your home.

For example, adding several pieces of blue furniture contrasts poorly with the look of all pink walls. Achieving the highest level of Feng Shui involves balancing the colors and shapes of every piece of living room furniture. The furniture that does not work for Feng Shui balance can be donated to an organization that gives furniture away to people that need it most.

One more thing about using living room furniture options that are environmentally friendly. Wood is not the only material that requires sustainability monitoring. You also have to consider the environmental impact of using furniture that is manufactured by processing precious metals.

5 Tips For Making Your Business Operations Sustainable

The Earth’s condition is getting much worse than in previous decades; weather patterns are changing, temperatures are rising, the ozone layer is depleting, and polar ice caps are melting. Thus, the call for sustainable operations has become a high-level priority for many businesses.

Implementing sustainability in business operations offers many benefits. Aside from having a good conscience from observing environmentally-friendly practices, many people may also appreciate the goodness you’re spreading by producing long-lasting, eco-friendly, and recyclable goods. They’ll support your business, purchase your products, and help your brand grow.

How to Make Your Business Operations Sustainable

On top of that, going sustainable also helps you minimize your carbon footprint, electricity consumption, and water usage. And with this, you’ll be able to save a significant amount of money that you can use for more essential business processes to reach your goals in no time.

To help you get started in transforming and making your business operations more sustainable and eco-friendlier, below are some tips and tricks you can consider:

1. Use Environmental Health Software

In today’s digital landscape, there’s a software application for almost everything you need, including an app that can help you grow your business sustainably.

An environmental health safety software, for instance. It’s an application designed to help organizations comply effectively with different rules and regulations for a sustainable operation. It’s cost-efficient, generally easy to set up, and has 24/7 customer support in case there are problems while using it.

Here are some important features you can use:

  • Measuring Sustainability: This feature allows you to check how sustainable your business is based on different key performance indicators. It provides insight that allows you to track your progress and identify unsustainable potholes in your system.
  • Industrial Hygiene Management: This feature focuses on preventing potential hazards that can put your employees at risk and mitigating them for a safe and healthy workplace.
  • Environmental Management: This feature can help you monitor water usage and waste production. Also, it can keep you on track with your sustainability metrics and ensure that you comply with different requirements.

Furthermore, the software is mobile-friendly. You can check the status of your program to see if you’re on top of your goals wherever you are.

2. Check Your HVAC Units

Are you having problems with your energy consumption? Does your bill increase constantly every month? If this is the case, you might want to checkup your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units. They might be the reason for your overwhelming electrical charges.

The first thing to do is evaluate the age of your HVAC system. If it’s been there with you for more than 15 years, it’d be best to replace it with a new one. Old HVAC units are known to consume more energy than new ones. Higher energy consumption means less sustainable operations.

hvac-air-filter

Also, new HVAC models require less energy to operate. On top of that, they’re more efficient and quieter than the older models. So, don’t hesitate to replace your decade-old HVAC systems to achieve a more sustainable business environment.

3. Improve Your Lighting

Another simple trick to help reduce your energy consumption is to replace your light bulbs with newer and energy-efficient LED (light-emitting diode) types. Compared to traditional incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs, these light sources may help you significantly save energy.

While LED light bulbs are generally more expensive than non-LED types, they can help you save more in the long run. And with that, they’re still the better option when it comes to lighting fixtures.

On top of that, LED light bulbs also have a longer shelf life of up to ten years, based on normal usage. Therefore, switching to LED light bulbs may not only save you from costly energy consumption but also on maintenance fees.

4. Reduce Water Consumption

Water is an important resource for everyday use. However, the water supply across the world continues to become scarce. That’s why it’s crucial to do your part in saving water and reducing water waste in all aspects of your business operations.

water-conservation-middle-east

Also, don’t forget to conduct different audits and routine checkups to determine any leakages under your pipelines. Check all the facilities where water runs, including toilet rooms and faucets. This can help you prevent wasting water unnecessarily and the drastic increase in your water bills.

Furthermore, if you have extra funds, you may build a small water treatment facility to treat and reuse wastewater and help the world preserve its natural water resources.

5. Go Paperless

Perhaps, this tip is one of the simplest and easiest ways to make your business operations sustainable. By implementing a paperless approach in the workplace, you can significantly help trim down paper usage and the need to purchase additional stacks of papers for business needs.

This tip is relatively easy, considering how most businesses are now shifting to digital platforms such as email and online fax when conducting transactions and sharing documents. You can also encourage your team members to skip printing documents for signatures, especially since there are various e-signature applications available today.

Final Words

Sustainable business operations are a top priority for most businesses. These allow them to save more on expenses and billings and help preserve the environment.

As a good starting point, you may embrace and implement the tips discussed above- conduct regular audits and check to identify potential problems in your HVAC system, upgrade your light bulbs into LEDs, reduce water consumption, and switch to paperless business transactions. Furthermore, use the environmental health safety software to help you keep track of your status regarding your sustainable practices and improve what needs to be improved.

Smart Ways To Dispose Of Rubbish In London

Lately, London streets are full of uncollected waste spilling over from bin bags wheelie bins and, plastic recycling containers.

Removing waste from our homes can be complicated at times, so it helps to know the greatest way to dispose of it.  Waste clearance can be a timewasting and costly affair if not done right and apart from that is important to end this process in an eco-friendly manner. There are some ways to take this stress out of your life so we’re here to highpoint some of the best options available to you.

sustainable waste management for homeowners

 

Try to produce less waste

The best way to get rid of waste is to try and produce less. By decreasing the amount of waste your produce will save a big pain later doubting what to do with it. Before you know where to reduce home waste, you will need to discover where it is coming from. There are some ways of doing this, but first, you must be aware of the different types of household waste. Some of the types of rubbish that homeowners produce include e-waste, hazardous material waste, organic waste, and chemical waste.

Recycle or Reuse

If it is possible to stop producing waste another smart way for proper rubbish removal is to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Try to recycle as many products as you can. Around 75% of all the waste is recyclable. People generally have no idea about which materials can be recycled and how to properly recycle those materials. Click here to know more about recyclable products.

Organize your waste

Another smart way for proper and eco-friendly rubbish removal is organizing your waste.  The reason why your waste should be separated is that different types of household waste need to be disposed of in different ways. The best way to organize waste is to separate the recyclable items and the non-recyclable items. To do that you can place two bins in your home and throw each waste in the right place.

 

Skip bins services

Skip bins are brought to your house and you load your rubbish into them yourself. They can be effective when a recognized quantity of non-toxic waste is produced and there are no forbidden items to dispose of. But, sometimes it is difficult to order the right size of the skip, and owners mix rubbish without considering the rules for toxic waste. With skip bins, stacking rubbish can be heavy work and you also have to clean up yourself after that. Besides, skip bins can irritate the neighbors.

ways to remove rubbish in London

Rubbish removal service

A rubbish removal service is one of the smartest ways for rubbish disposal. The company team will come to your house and remove all types of waste no matter how large, disordered, or poisonous they are, and make all the areas clean and tidy before they leave. They will always make sure that the rubbish is recycled properly.

Understanding Carbon Footprint

With rising awareness of global warming and effects of emissions on the environment, corporates and individuals alike are rising to tackle environmental issues. Carbon footprinting, the first step to reduce carbon emissions, is the total set of greenhouse gas emissions caused directly or indirectly by an individual, organization, event or product. The main reason for calculating a carbon footprint is to inform decisions on how to reduce the climate change impact of a company, service or product. Carbon footprints are measured by undertaking a greenhouse gas assessment. Once the size of a carbon footprint is known, a strategy can be devised to reduce it.

Why Carbon Footprint?

Growing public awareness about climate change and global warming has resulted in an increasing interest in ‘carbon footprinting’. The global community now recognizes the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate climate change. The most popular methods to reduce carbon footprint include use of alternative energy, reforestation, waste reduction and energy efficiency. Population, economic output, primary energy mix and carbon intensity are the major parameters in determining the carbon footprint of a particular country.

Carbon footprint is the foremost indicator of environmental responsibility and helps to identify climate impacts and lower them cost-effectively by strategic and operative planning, constructing a climate policy, environmental reporting etc. In addition, carbon footprint promotes positive, environmentally conscious company image and can boost the marketing of an organization and its products.

Types of Carbon Footprint

There are different types of carbon footprint, e.g. for organisations, individuals, products, services, and events.  Different types of carbon footprint have different methods and boundaries. The various approaches and types of greenhouse gas assessment are discussed below.

  • Product Carbon Footprint is suited for organizations which have distinct products and services. It delivers a view of GHG emissions specific to a single product or service. This can then be scaled up to the entire organization. Product Carbon Footprint can be assessed to capture either business-to-business view (cradle-to-gate) or business-to-consumer view (cradle-to-grave).
  • Corporate Carbon Footprint is suited for organisations wishing to take an overview of the carbon footprint of the entire organization. The process starts off by identifying the business goals for the GHG inventory, setting up suitable organizational boundaries, selecting an appropriate baseline period; data collection and finally preparing plan for data quality management.
  • Value-Chain Carbon Footprint includes activities associated with the product or services of an organization over entire value chain.  This accounts for emissions arising from raw material procurement to the end of product life. Value-chain carbon footprint provides an aggregate view of all the products and services of the company.

Carbon Footprint in the Middle East

The world’s dependence on Middle East energy resources has caused the region to have some of the largest carbon footprints per capita worldwide. Oil and gas industry, electricity production, transportation, industrial heating and air-conditioning are responsible for most of the carbon emissions from the region. Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia figure among the world’s top-10 per capita carbon emitters. Infact, carbon emissions from Qatar are approximately 50 tons per capita, which is more than double the US per capita footprint of 19 tons per year. 

القيم الرمضانية – السلوك البيئي محوراً

القيمة الأخلاقية للقيم الرمضانية في العلاقة مع النظم البيئية المحور الذي جرى تسليط الضوء على بعده في بناء الثقافة الرشيدة في المفاهيم البيئية للمجتمع، في المحاضرة التي قدمناها في مجلس سعيد تقي الرمضاني بتاريخ الثلاثاء 14 مايو 2019 ضمن برنامج المجالس الرمضانية البيئية الذي تنظمه بلدية المنطقة الشمالية.

ramadan-environmental-spiritual-benefits

السلوك كقيمة أخلاقية في منظومة القيم الرمضانية، من المحاور المهمة في المحاضرة، ويمثل موضوع حيوي يشير الى ثوابت الاخلاق كقيمة وضرورة في بناء مسؤولية الفرد والمجتمع في الالتزام بالممارسات السديدة والرشيدة مع ما يحيط بهما من معالم طبيعية ومع من يتقاسمون معهم خصوصية ذلك المحيط، ويدخل في هذا السياق الأحياء بمختلف انواعها، والمجتمع الذي يعيش في وسط ذلك المحيط، ويمثل الانسان العنصر الرئيس في هذه المنظومة الى جانب التنوع الاحيائي والنباتي المصدر الحيوي لمعيشة وحياة الانسان، هنا يمكن القول ان القيمة الاخلاقية للسلوك في جوهر القيم الرمضانية تنطلق من المقومات التي تؤكد ضرورة تجنب الممارسات المسيئة بمختلف اشكالها، والابتعاد عن الممارسات المؤذية وذات الأثر السلبي على المصالح في بعدها الشامل ،‏وتبني الثقافة المسؤولة في صون حقوق ومصالح الفئات التي تعيش في محيطك البيئي.

ان المرتكزات والمؤشرات المشار اليها تنقلنا الى واقع آخر وتؤكد على ضرورة مقاربة ذلك مع محددات مهمة لتبين واقعية القيم الرمضانية في الممارسة العملية للسلوك الفردي والاجتماعي وتتمثل في السلوك غير الرشيد في العلاقة مع النظم البيئية المتمثلة في الاسراف والتبذير في شراء الموارد، والبهرجة في تنظيم الولائم الرمضانية، والاستغلال غير الرشيد للموارد البيئية، وتدمير الموائل والثروات البحرية، ورمي المخلفات المنزلية في الطرقات وعلى السواحل وفي الامكان العامة، والتعدي على الحق البيئي للمجتمع، والتسبب في زيادة مستوى المخلفات العضوية الناجمة من المخلفات الغذائية الفائضة عن الحاجة، واطلاق الانبعاثات الضارة بالبيئة وصحة الانسان، وزيادة الاعباء المالية في عملية التخلص من المخلفات.

الآثار السلبية للسلوك غير الرشيد على الوقع البيئي والمعيشي والصحي للمجتمع ظاهرة ملموسة وتتمثل في تلويث المحيط البيئي للانسان، وتدهور الموارد البيئية المصدر الحيوي لمعيشة الانسان، و‏الاخلال بالتوازن البيئي والتسبب في الاخلال بالامن البيئي للانسان، والتسبب في الاضرار بالمصالح الصحية والمعيشية للمجتمع، وذلك في حاجة الى تبين القيمة الأخلاقية للسلوك الرشيد في معادلة صون معالم النظم البيئية، وتتمثل تلك القيمة في الالتزام بالقيم الرمضانية المرتكز على ثوابت المسؤولية التي تمثل جوهر القيم الاخلاقية وهي الضمانة الاكيدة في صون معالم النظم البيئية ويبرز ذلك في الجهود الموجهة لتحسين الممارسات البشرية في استغلال الموارد البيئية، و‏الانشطة الموجهة لتعديل المفاهيم غير الرشيد في العلاقة مع المعالم البيئية، و‏اعداد الدراسات المؤسسة علمياً المرتكزة على المعايير البيئية في تنفيد المشاريع التي تراعي وتصون المصالح البيئية للانسان.

ان معالجة الخلل في مفاهيم السلوك البيئي للمجتمع يتطلب بناء ثقافة السلوك الاخلاقي في العلاقة معالم النظام البيئي، ‏والانسان بطببعته يميل الى تبني المنهج الذي يوفر له الظروف الملائمة للمعيشة الآمنة، لذلك ينبذ الممارسات التي تتسبب في الاخلال بأمنه البيئي والحياتي، هنا يمكن الاشارة الى عنصران رئيسان مختلفان في مضمونهما وطبيعتهما ويمثلان مدخلاً لبناء ثقافة السلوك الاخلاقي في العلاقة مع معالم النظام البيئي وتتمثل تلك العناصر في المخاطر وحالات القلق التي يعيشها الانسان بفعل التدهور البيئي، ‏والمنافع التي يجنيها الانسان الصحية والمعيشية نتيجة الالتزام بقيم العلاقة الرشيدة مع معالم النظام البيئي.

زبدة القول تقويم السلوك الاجتماعي في العلاقة مع معالم النظام البيئي تشير الى ضرورة توفر الأدوات التي يمكن ان تساهم في تغيير مفاهيم العلاقة مع النظم البيئية ونرى انها تتمثل في المنبر الديني، والمنبر الاعلامي، والتربية المدرسية بالتوافق مع التربية الاسرية،     والمؤسسات الاهلية، والمسؤولية الادارية والقانونية، والرقابة وفرض المخالفات، وتلك الادوات تمثل منظومة متداخلة المهام والوظائف، وفي حالة إعتمادها والأخذ بها يمكن إحداث تحول نوعي في المفاهيم البيئية للمجتمع وتحسين السلوك الاجتماعي في العلاقة مع النظام البيئي.