Cookie tracking notice
Are we allowed to crumble with cookies and anonymous tracking?

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site (so called session cookies), while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). We use the application Matomo and the external service etracker to analyze your behavior on our website anonymously. Because we value your privacy, we are here with asking your permission to use the following technologies. You can change your settings any time via this link or the menu item in footer menu. For more information visit our Data Policy

The CARROT Framework

Achieving Paradigm Shift in Sanitation Security and Wastewater Reuse in WANA region

Eng. Hassan Tolba Aboelnga
Vice Chairman - Middle East Water Forum


Dr Hazim El-Naser
Founder and Chairman - Middle East Water Forum


BY: Eng. PMP Hassan Aboelnga, Vice Chair of Middle East Water Forum and H.E Dr. Hazim Elnaser, Chairman of Middle East Water Forum

The West Asia and North Africa (WANA) region covers 10% of the world’s area and are home to 6% of the world’s population (507.6 million people) but receive less than 2% of the world’s renewable water supply. 63% of the region population lives in urban areas and 37% lives in rural areas. Water resources in the Arab region are being depleted by rapid population growth, the accompanying demands of urbanization, and irrigated agriculture. Moreover, climate change, bringing greater climate variability and more frequent and severe droughts and floods, will exacerbate the already precarious situation created by chronic water scarcity.

© • •

El-Gabal El-Asfar wastewater treatment plant in Egypt

The Arab region is considered one of the world’s poorest regions in terms of water availability and globally, is most likely to suffer from water crises. The water crisis threatens the WANA’s stability as well as its human development and sustainable development. Over the next decade, freshwater per resources per capita are estimated to keep declining steadily unless a fundamental shift occurs.

In the face of the COVID-19 crisis coupled with increasing demands and conflicts in the region, wastewater must be sees as a reliable alternative source of water, by shifting the paradigm of wastewater management from ‘treatment and disposal’ to ‘reuse, recycle and resource recovery’. In this sense, wastewater must be seen as a solution to the water crisis in the region.

The status of sanitation services and wastewater discharge in WANA region

Only 38% of the WANA population (192 million people) use safely managed sanitation services and there are great disparities in services between urban and rural areas. 80 percent of wastewater is discharged directly into the natural environment without being used.

Sanitation may not be the first thing you think of when considering sustainable development in WANA. If you really think about it though, proper sanitation has a huge impact on the lives of millions of people in the region. Lack of proper sanitation contributes to a lot of economic stress that are not immediately evident. Improving sanitation could have a large positive economic impact in WANA region. Yet, the inadequate supply of water and sanitation is costing the WANA region around US$21 billion per year in economic losses

The WANA is a global hotspot of unsustainable water use

we are still solving new problems with old solutions and our experience turns to be our worst enemy. We are still investing in linear systems “big pipes in and big pipes out” transfer model, which aimed to protect public health and avoid nuisance impacts using large-scale technological solutions for narrowly defined service problems, we are working is silos, our policies are set without aligning national objectives with the required resources, we still counting on public funds that are insufficient and poorly targeted, the new sources of finance for water and sanitation is constrained by regulatory, institutional and high-risk profiles of many investments: deals are small or risky and creditworthiness of public utilities is weak, and our ambitious strategies for sanitation are developed with little consideration for how or by whom they will be implemented, nor how they will be financed.

the status quo is not enough anymore to deliver sanitation targets by 2030. A new paradigm is therefore needed that turns this approach on its head and ask the Arab community to change the way we manage and finance water and sanitation. It is not only about money; solving wicked sanitation problems requires creativity and innovation to turn risks into opportunities, providing fit for purpose solutions, and changing the financing mechanisms of water, providing strong governmental leadership and accountability, as well as recognizing the role of communities, acknowledging multiple knowledge cultures, and accepting the inevitability of uncertainty.

The CARROT framework

• Coherence and Capacity Development
Policy coherence is considered to be an important tool for the establishment of 'transformative sanitation development and incentivise the transition from the very clunky centralised approach into decentralised systems with the circular economy approach to strengthen the implementing of integrated water resources management. Lack of a supportive and coherent framework for water reuse are the major barriers, preventing a wider spread of this practice in many countries. Water and sanitation are still being treated as two separate systems, while they are both part of one system: the water cycle. This means breaking out of institutional and policy silos to fully realise the benefits of synergistic actions, identifying unintended negative consequences of policies, and effectively managing unavoidable trade-offs. The SDG6, however, does not provide guidance on how to ensure an integrated and coherent implementation approach to the sanitation goal as part of the whole water cycle and also among other SDGs.

"Regional knowledge exchange and local capacity development in water reuse are essential to improve technical, planning and management capacities in the region"

• Adaptive Solutions
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to sanitation services. Adaptative solutions of technical, policy measures and technology are critical for bridging the sanitation gap. Fit for purpose sanitation system is based mainly on the question of the purpose and nature of the system whether onsite sanitation, centralised, decentralised or hybrid sanitation systems or non-sewer system.

"Reuse does not depend on treatment, but treatment depends on the purpose of reuse. Fit-for-purpose means matching a water quality for an appropriate reuse"

• Regulations and Institutional Framework
Regulations and Institutional frameworks for reuse should define clear and precise consent procedures, standards and responsibilities, together with enforcement mechanisms. It should also address the competent institution’s responsibilities. Commonly the laws and regulations governing water reuse are not detailed enough about reusing treated wastewater. Sectoral water legislation is often outdated. Even where adequate legislation is in place, monitoring and enforcement have proved to be a major barrier.

• Raising Awareness and cross sector collaboration
Community engagement and cross sector collaboration are essential to achieve the sanitation security. wastewater reuse suffers from perception, cultural and religious barriers in many countries. For instance, many countries in WANA region still worried that the rules of the faith or “fatwa” – an authoritative religious ruling –preventing them from reusing wastewater.

"Social acceptance through a huge educational campaign and community engagement, is mandatory to raise awareness about the need to use wastewater to meet the increasing water demand."

• Opportunities
Changing paradigm for risks to opportunities in sanitation relies on changing our mindset toward wastewater. WANA countries discharge the wastewater into watercourses as they lack the financial means and knowledge of technology leading to economic benefits of having proper sanitation system and wastewater reuse. We really have to change our perceptions and the way we look at wastewater as a precious resource. Wastewater has water that can help us to meet the water demand, it has nutrients that we need to use it as fertilizers for food production, it has organic material that can be used for energy production to support energy security

"Investing and expanding in water reuse for beneficial purposes including irrigation, industrial uses, and drinking water augmentation--can significantly increase the WANA region's available water resources."

• Technology and innovations
WANA countries cannot afford expensive, complex to operate wastewater treatment processes and should use appropriate technology processes. Appropriate technologies mean simple processes of proven technology, of low investment and O&M costs, simple to operate and with capacity to yield any required quality

"wastewater resource recovery technologies can change the face of the scarcity of resources and change the perceptions about wastewater- the untapped resource - from risk to opportunity"

Share this page on    

Follow us on    

SuSanA Partners currently 400 partners

Networks Circle


Latest tweets mentioning SuSanA

Tweets mentioning SuSanA »

SuSanA newsletter

Stay informed about the activities of SuSanA and its partners. The SuSanA newsletter is sent out around four times per year. It contains information about news, events, new partners, projects, discussions and publications of the SuSanA network.

Subscribe to newsletter »




Resources and publications

Our library has more than 3,000 publications, factsheets, presentations, drawings etc. from many different organisations. It continues to grow thanks to the contributions from our partners.

Add item to library »

The three links below take you to special groups of items in the library for more convenient access:


The project database contains nearly 400 sanitation projects of many different organizations dealing with research, implementation, advocacy, capacity development etc. Advanced filtering functions and a global map are also available. Information on how and why this database was created is here.

People working for SuSanA partners can add their own projects through their partner profile page. You might need your SuSanA login upgraded for this purpose. Please contact us if you would like to add a project.

Trainings, conference and events materials

Missed important conferences or courses? Catch up by using their materials for self study. These materials have been kindly provided by SuSanA partners.

Sanitation Workers Knowledge and Learning Hub

Regional chapters

Use the map or the search tool to access the most relevant information and knowledge products for your region or country. This includes relevant resources, events, partners or projects.

Shit flow diagrams, excreta flow diagrams (250 SFDs worldwide)

Shit flow diagrams (SFDs) help to visualize excreta management in urban settings. Access SFDs and more through the SFD Portal.

Emersan eCompendium

Humanitarian Sanitation Hub




Discussion forum

Share knowledge, exchange experiences, discuss challenges, make announcements, ask questions and more. Hint: Your discussion forum login is the same as your SuSanA login. More about the forum's philosophy »

Integrated content

We are hosting content from some other communities of practice and information-sharing portals. This section also provides a link to SuSanA's Sanitation Wikipedia initiative.

Suggest content to add »

SuSanA partners

Not yet a SuSanA partner? Show your organisation's support to SuSanA's vision and engage in  knowledge sharing by becoming partners.

Apply to become a partner »

Individual membership

Register as an individual member of SuSanA free of charge. As a member you can interact with thousands of sanitation enthusiasts on the discussion forum.  You can also get engaged in one of our 13 working groups and our regional chapters. Our FAQs explain the benefits further.

By getting a SuSanA login you can fully participate in the SuSanA community!

Register as a member


Forgot your password?
Forgot your username?