A socio-eco-efficiency analysis of water and wastewater treatment processes for refugee communities in Jordan

Siti Nurhawa Binte Muhammad Anwar, Valeria Alvarado, Shu Chien Hsu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


As of 2017, the United Nations has estimated that there are 68.5 million displaced people in the world which live in refugee camps (RCs) in 125 host countries. RCs frequently encounter water scarcity issues which lead to a low daily limit of water consumption, as well as face management difficulties such as septic tank overflowing which contribute to the development of health problems. Considering the need for more sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene system in RCs, a socio-eco-efficiency analysis (SEEA) framework is proposed for the analysis and comparison of different wastewater treatment methods. The SEEA framework consists of the integration of the economic and environmental aspects analysed by an eco-efficiency analysis (EEA) with the social aspects evaluated by a social life cycle assessment (S-LCA) using the analytic hierarchy process. The SEEA framework was applied to compare different wastewater treatment methods in Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan. The SEEA results show that, if adopted, an effluent water reuse-based treatment would increase economic efficiency by 75%, decrease environmental impacts by 57%, and increase social sustainability by 57% compared to the current operation of the camp, where a wastewater system connects groups of seven to nine households to communal septic tanks. A ternary diagram is used to represent the comparison of different wastewater treatment methods for an RC. The diagram shows the degree of socio-eco-efficiency of each wastewater treatment method, in terms of its social impacts, environmental impacts, and cost by normalising results of the EEA and S-LCA into one score.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105196
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Analytic Hierarchy Process
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Life cycle cost
  • Social life cycle assessment
  • Wastewater Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Economics and Econometrics

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