MWH to conduct Beirut project feasibility study
Study to assess $350m first phase of Awali-Beirut water supply project
Wet infrastructure company MWH has been selected to conduct a feasibility study for the US$350 million first phase of the Awali-Beirut water supply project in Lebanon, the firm announced on Tuesday.
The project involves transferring water from the Awali River in South Lebanon to the capital city of Beirut, which is experiencing a severe water shortage and lacks water transmission systems.
The Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR) and the World Bank has hired MWH to update a 1994 feasibility study and prepare project cost estimates based on comparisons and viable options of routing the water – either through a gravity tunnel from the Awali River to the Beirut or by gravity pipeline in trench to the coast and along the coastline.
The project is divided into three contract phases and is scheduled to be completed in three years.
The current potable water demand in Beirut is estimated at 780 million litres per day (MLD) with deficits of 368 MLD during the driest month in October, thus creating an intermittent water supply for city residents and businesses. The first phase of the project is expected to treat and transmit 260 MLD.
“The Awali-Beirut project is vital for Lebanon to help this country alleviate its ongoing water shortages and sustain economic growth and prosperity,” said Paul Boulos, president of MWH Middle East.
The project utilises gravity flow between the water extraction and delivery points which are 35 kilometres apart with varying topography in between, including hills and steep valleys. Essential components of the three phases include abstracting water from an existing tunnel south of Beirut and delivering to a treatment plant at Ouardaniye; and transmission of treated water from Ouardaniye to the coastal town of Khalde via a 24 km tunnel and then to proposed new reservoirs in South Beirut.