Economics of wastewater reuse

While a graduate student at UNC-Chapel Hill, I was given the opportunity to work with water specialists in the Middle East and North Africa Region (MENA) at the World Bank on understanding constraints and opportunities related to wastewater reuse in water scarce countries. This work is summarized in a pair of book chapters. I later wrote a peer-reviewed article that built on this research.

Main research collaborators:

  • Pier Mantovani and Claire Kfouri (World Bank)

Related Publications:

Jeuland, M. (2015). “Challenges to wastewater reuse in the Middle East and North Africa.” Middle East Development Journal 7(1): 1-25.

Abstract: Faced with increasing water scarcity, policy makers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are increasingly interested in tapping non-conventional water resources, such as recycled wastewater, to meet demands for water. Yet despite its perceived advantages, few countries have succeeded in developing extensive, successful, and safe reuse, despite considerable innovation in the water sector. This paper argues that much of the relative failure to expand reuse in MENA can be linked to incentive problems in wastewater management. A simple conceptual model is applied to explore how demand among different users interacts with water supply to produce different reuse cases. The economics of these cases are discussed with reference to data on water pricing and wastewater management. The analysis shows that a variety of constraints inhibit formal reuse of wastewater in MENA, including problems related to the cost of reuse, problems associated with low demand for reclaimed wastewater, the widespread lack of effective price signals and cost recovery in the water sector, and challenges in structuring the financing of reuse.

Jeuland, M. (2012). “Creating incentives for more effective wastewater reuse in the Middle East and North Africa.” In: Environmental Incentives and Regulation. Ed.: Abou-Ali, H. Edward-Elgar Press.

Kfouri, C.; P. Mantovani; M. Jeuland. (2009). “Water Reuse in the MNA Region: Constraints, Experiences, and Policy Recommendations.” In Water in the Arab World: Management Perspectives and Innovations, Jagannathan, N., A. S. Mohamed, A. Kremer (eds.). The World Bank: Washington, D.C.