Lebanon’s Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR) has selected US-based consultants MWH to conduct a feasibility study for first phase of the Awali-Beirut water supply project.

The project involves transferring water from the Awali River in South Lebanon to Beirut, which is experiencing a severe water shortage and lacks water transmission systems.

MWH will look at viable options of routing the water – either through a gravity tunnel from the Awali River to Beirut or by gravity pipeline in a trench to the coastline.

The project is divided into three contract phases and is scheduled to be completed in three years. The Washington-headquartered World Bank is one of the project lenders for the $350 million project.

The current potable water demand in Beirut is estimated at 780 million litres a day (l/d) with deficits of 368 million l/d 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 million l/d.