a Metabolic Cycle for the Greater Beirut Area

BE’ROT is the result of a 9-month research on sustainable alternatives to supply the Greater Beirut Area (GBA) with water.


More and more people are moving to the city and the recent political environment forced a lot of refugees to come to Beirut and the cities around, creating unexpectedly high demand for water. The Aquifers of Beirut are also being overexploited and Saltwater intrusion in the aquifers is deteriorating the already not very efficient water infrastructure (40 years old infrastructure with an estimated leaking every 2km).

BE’ROT proposes a strategy to tackle these issues and offer even more through a metabolic cycle presented as a catalogue of interventions that are mostly independent physically but are all connected naturally and socially in and perform to achieve one Agenda, augment (in quality and quantity) the amount of water in the city at the best rate.


figure 1: the Fresh Water cycle of Lebanon


There are 4 water establishments in Lebanon. The “Beirut and Mount Lebanon” establishment is the most demanding in water, and the one with the highest concentration of water infrastructure project. finding new sources for this establishment can release the stress on the other three whose waters are being drained towards the capital.
The proposal focuses on three sources of water that are disregarded inside the GBA:
A- Stormwater (825.5 mm/yr)
B- Wastewater (no value)
C- Beirut River (81Mm3/yr) (millions of cubic meters per year)
These sources vary a lot with the seasons, but an adapted cycle that takes time into consideration can be created.

figure 2: 1) water establishments 2)Aquifers and Groundwater 3)Density map 4)Rivers and watersheds

figure 3: 5)Domestic water supply projects 6)Irrigation water supply projects 7)Wastewater treatment plants 8)Freshwater treatment plants and wells

There are 3 main sources supplying Beirut with water: The Damour Aquifer, the Jeita Watershed and the planned Greater Beirut Water Supply project. The Beirut River is another source that is not exploited and allows the city to loose 81Mm3/yr of water every winter.

The plan is to retain this water along with other secondary sources with a series of interventions in the city. Some are taken from the conventional grey infrastructure practice (mostly for the urgent needs like fighting saline intrusion), other interventions are taken from the green infrastructure philosophy and the some other are Nature-Based solution (NBS) where we let nature do a part of the work for us like the filtration of water etc.



This plan is addressed to 3 groups of people:
A- Personal initiatives (anyone)
C- The Government
The intervention’s scale is one of the parameters that determine who can do it. In this way, the public and private sector can determine who is responsible for which action and work together or separately.

BE’ROT is the old name of Beirut in Phoenician, meaning wells. Wells are never connected, and neither is this plan. This distributed way of working can ensure that the plan never stops. Every intervention of this plan can only do good for the city and every intervention is independent of the other and can be achieved at different periods of time.

Of course not, BE’ROT is believed to be a draft plan for a new Beirut water infrastructure. This proposal is constantly changing with new technologies and new available skills that science and research can give us. However, for the year it was made (2019) it is believed to be a great example of the most advanced and most cost-effective methods that can be applied.

-A very distributed thinking making it problem proof, corruption proof and timeproof.
-A disruptive proposal adapting to seasons and time
-An interest in science in all aspects from Geology to Biology to Physics and chemistry etc.
-Against importing foreign ideas and concepts and focus on finding ones that can adapt to the Greater Beirut specific context. (no Lazy urbanism anymore).

Yes, a lot! Many initiatives are being done around Beirut and BE’ROT celebrates these initiatives by offering a more general view and plan accessible to public to empower them, save time and most importantly keep the knowledge acquired accessible to all, and push a single Agenda for the benefit of all.