Professor presents paper on agricultural waste disposal at international conference

Issam Al-Khatib, a professor of environmental and water studies at Birzeit University, presented his paper on the Wadi Al-Fara’ Watershed in Palestine, at the 2018 Water Security and Climate Change Conference, held at Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya, on December 3 - 5, 2018.

Al-Khatib’s paper, entitled “Assessment of nutrients and heavy metals constituents in raw organic agricultural waste and ready compost,” analyzed the agricultural waste produced in the Wadi Al-Fara’ Watershed, one of the most significant agricultural areas in Palestine, to encourage compost production as a viable alternative to other means of waste disposal. 

As part of the study, 34 samples were collected from different agricultural villages in the Wadi Al-Fara’ Watershed, including 19 samples of raw organic agricultural waste and 15 samples of compost. 

Analysis of the organic waste, Al-Khatib noted in the study, showed good potential for compost production due to the high content of nitrogen and phosphorous. Analysis of the compost samples, however, showed that their quality is relatively low, due to high electric conductivity and humidity, as well as high sodium, chloride, and potassium content.

The heavy metals analysis showed that metal content in the raw waste and compost samples are lower than the limits specified by the Palestinian standards, Al-Khatib wrote. 

The Water Security and Climate Change Conference provides academics and practitioners from various sectors with a platform to discuss the diverse facets of water security in dynamic environments and its relation to climate variability. The 2018 conference included 97 oral presentations and 52 poster presentations by 200 participants from around the world.