Water Resources and Desalination in Libya: A Review †
2. The Water Shortage Problem in Libya
- Excessive groundwater exploitation
- Decreased annual average of rainfall
- Intensive agricultural activities in the coastal plains
- Seawater intrusion
- Low water tariffs
- Lack of institutional framework
- Lack of clear strategy related to the local water sector
- Lack of awareness in the public of the need for the rational use and management of water resources
- Poor management in the General Water Authority (GWA)
3. Water Resources in Libya
3.1. Conventional Water Resources
3.1.1. Surface Water
3.2. Non Conventional Water Resources
3.2.1. The Man-Made River Project (MMRP)
3.2.2. Wastewater Treatment
3.2.3. Desalination Technology
- Over-exploitation of groundwater
- The increasing demand of water
- The current unstable conditions of the MMRP make it unreliable water source in the future. Besides, continuing extracting groundwater from the Saharan aquifer and transport it by conduits up-north to the coastal cities makes it unfeasible taking into consideration the maintenance work involved
- The availability of seawater in high quantities and relatively free of industrial pollutants
- Libya has the longest Mediterranean coastline among African nations (around 1950 km)
- The biggest and the most populated Libyan cities are located along the coast
- Create opportunities for spatial development
- The availability of natural gas may contribute to lowering the cost of water production, especially when taking into consideration building joint power and desalination plants
- The absence of good management in all water authorities caused many problems regarding documentation whatsoever. Therefore there must be a cooperation between the national authorities to solve the water shortage problem.
- Despite the fact that the manmade river has partly solved the water crisis in the northern parts of the country, yet it can not be reliable for all situations.
- Desalination of seawater should be strongly adopted in all coastal Libyan cities, while desalination of brackish water plants should be installed throughout the country.
- The responsible water authorities should urgently create professional inspection teams to investigate the out of service desalination plants and write reports describing the technical status of these plants, including the maintenance cost when its required. Based on these reports governments and private sector would be able to make the right decisions with regard to these plants. If these out of service plants stay as they are many technical, social and environmental problems should appear sooner or later.
- The government should take initiative in the direction of water reuse and recycling by encouraging research in water reuse field, this can be conducted by research centers and universities.
Conflicts of Interest
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|No||Water Basin||Number of Dams||Total Capacity (mm3)||Average Annual Storage (mm3)|
|1||Al Jabal Al Akhdar||5||160.6||15.95|
|2||Kufra and Sarir||4||8.14||1.8|
|Basin Name||Area (km2)||Basin Type||Estimated Groundwater Capacity (km3)|
|Jiffarah plain||18,000||Renewable *||-|
|Al Jabal Al Akhdar||145,000||Renewable||-|
|Kufra and Sarir||700,000||Non-renewable||-|
|Location||Desalination Type||Design Capacity m3/d||No of Units||Operation Year|
|Tubrok||MED *-TVC **||40,000||-||1977–2002|
|Azawia double||MED||2500 × 2||2||2006|
|Tripoli west||MED-TVC||5000 × 2||2||1999|
|Homes||MSF||10,560 × 3||4||1985|
|Benghazi North||MED-TVC||4800 × 1||1||2005|
|Benghazi North double||MED-TVC||2500 × 2||2||2007|
|Darna||MED-TVC||4700 × 1||1||1998|
|Hrawa||MSF||500 × 1||1||1989|
|Total design capacity||525,680|
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Brika, B. Water Resources and Desalination in Libya: A Review. Proceedings 2018, 2, 586. https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2110586
Brika B. Water Resources and Desalination in Libya: A Review. Proceedings. 2018; 2(11):586. https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2110586Chicago/Turabian Style
Brika, Bashir. 2018. "Water Resources and Desalination in Libya: A Review" Proceedings 2, no. 11: 586. https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2110586