event 02 Jul 2021

Report // ​Water-Energy Nexus of Water and Wastewater Service in Lebanon

The Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) and Oxfam in Lebanon published a series of reports under the “Water Energy Nexus of Water and Wastewater Services in Lebanon” project, which aims to examine the role of energy, particularly electricity, in Lebanon’s water and wastewater service provision. The reports investigate the legal, social, environmental, and economic aspects along with existing legal, policy, and institutional frameworks pertaining to the water, wastewater, and energy sectors. They also cover the obstacles the sectors face and possible steps for improving energy efficiency in the water and wastewater sector.

category Report tag Water tag Sanitation and Wastewater tag Energy tag Renewable Energy tag Governance tag Policy tag Finance globe MENA
Report WEF Nexus Water wastewater Lebanon

About the project

The Joint Humanitarian Development Framework (JHDF) identified WaSH as a key priority sector for Lebanon. H2ALL, a WaSH consortium that consists of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Oxfam, World Vision International (WVI), and Gruppo di Volontario Civile (GVC) have come together to implement the project “Improving access to safe and affordable water to vulnerable communities”, under the EU Madad Trust Fund program “Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) programme for Syrian refugees and Lebanese host communities”. Within this framework, Oxfam in Lebanon commissioned the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut to undertake the “Water Energy Nexus of Water and Wastewater Services in Lebanon” study.

The project aims to contribute to effective, sustainable, and multi-level water governance in crisis-affected Lebanon, through empowering local and regional authorities and demonstrating cost-effective systems for water-service provision.

Project overview​​

Though well established and understood by practitioners, policy-makers ignore the interrelation between energy and water when developing energy and water policies, known as the water-energy nexus This has led to the rise of complex challenges, especially in Lebanon, because policies and strategies in both sectors have often been developed in isolation of each other. This resulted in policy fragmentation that has negatively affected the sustainable development of both sectors.

The interdependencies and trade-offs between water and energy require an integrative approach to policy planning and resource management. This is not possible without a supportive knowledge base and an understanding of these interlinkages and systems. Lebanon, to date, lacks a comprehensive assessment of energy consumption and efficiency in water and wastewater service provision. Additionally, the policy frameworks and coordination mechanisms in place do not facilitate the development of an integrated and efficient water energy scheme, to alleviate pressures on both sectors. Accordingly, there is a need to develop a comprehensive understanding of the links between water and energy within the current Lebanese legal and operational framework, to assess barriers and opportunities for better-integrated policies, management strategies, and solutions.

The study presented herein aims to address the issues raised above by examining the role of energy, particularly electricity, in Lebanon’s water and wastewater service provision. This includes an investigation and analysis of associated legal, social, environmental, and economic aspects along with existing legal, policy, and institutional frameworks pertaining to the water, wastewater, and energy sectors. The potential of and obstacles to mainstreaming energy efficiency, particularly renewable energy, in the water and wastewater sectors are also addressed along with a quantification of social, environmental, and economic impacts of energy use and efficiency of both the individual (homeowner) and water establishment. Finally, a national roadmap for improved energy efficiency in the water and wastewater sector is proposed and evidence is provided on the potential deployment of renewable energy in water services.

Download the research reports

Volume 1: Executive Summary

Volume 2: Social Network Analysis

Volume 3: Energy Audit of the Water and Wastewater Sectors

Volume 4: Renewable Energy Potential and Market Assessment

Volume 5: Socio-Economic Assessment of the Water-Energy Nexus​

About the Issam Fares Institue

Inaugurated in 2006, the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) at the American University of Beirut (AUB) is an independent, research-based, policy-oriented institute. It aims to initiate and develop policy-relevant research in and about the Arab world. The Institute aims at bridging the gap between academia and policymaking by conducting high-quality research on the complex issues and challenges faced by Lebanese and Arab societies within shifting international and global contexts, by generating evidence-based
policy recommendations and solutions for Lebanon and the Arab world, and by creating an intellectual space for an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas among researchers, scholars, civil society actors, media, and policymakers.

The Climate Change and Environment program
was launched in 2008 as part of IFI’s strategy of utilizing the AUB’s significant research and analytical capabilities to inform and guide public policymaking of Lebanon and the Arab world. The program’s strategic objective is to generate, and influence policy related to climate change and environmental issues.

Research Team​

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Tina Schmiers

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