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Wastewater irrigation: the state of play

Hamilton, Andrew, Stagnitti, Frank, Xiong, Xianzhe, Kreidl, Simone, Benke, Kurt and Maher, Peta 2007, Wastewater irrigation: the state of play, Vadose zone journal, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 823-840, doi: 10.2136/vzj2007.0026.

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Title Wastewater irrigation: the state of play
Author(s) Hamilton, Andrew
Stagnitti, Frank
Xiong, Xianzhe
Kreidl, Simone
Benke, Kurt
Maher, Peta
Journal name Vadose zone journal
Volume number 6
Issue number 4
Start page 823
End page 840
Publisher Soil Science Society of America
Place of publication Madison, Wis.
Publication date 2007-11
ISSN 1539-1663
Summary As demand for fresh water intensifies, wastewater is frequently being seen as a valuable resource. Furthermore, wise reuse of wastewater alleviates concerns attendant with its discharge to the environment. Globally, around 20 million ha of land are irrigated with wastewater, and this is likely to increase markedly during the next few decades as water stress intensifies. In 1995, around 2.3 billion people lived in water-stressed river basins and this could increase to 3.5 billion by 2025. We review the current status of wastewater irrigation by providing an overview of the extent of the practice throughout the world and through synthesizing the current understanding of factors influencing sustainable wastewater irrigation. A theme that emerges is that wastewater irrigation is not only more common in water-stressed regions such as the Near East, but the rationale for the practice also tends to differ between the developing and developed worlds. In developing nations, the prime drivers are livelihood dependence and food security, whereas environmental agendas appear to hold greater sway in the developed world. The following were identified as areas requiring greater understanding for the long-term sustainability of wastewater irrigation: (i) accumulation of bioavailable forms of heavy metals in soils, (ii) environmental fate of organics in wastewater-irrigated soils, (iii) influence of reuse schemes on catchment hydrology, including transport of salt loads, (iv) risk models for helminth infections (pertinent to developing nations), (v) microbiological contamination risks for aquifers and surface waters, (vi) transfer efficiencies of chemical contaminants from soil to plants, (vii) health effects of chronic exposure to chemical contaminants, and (viii) strategies for engaging the public.
Language eng
DOI 10.2136/vzj2007.0026
Field of Research 079901 Agricultural Hydrology (Drainage, Flooding, Irrigation, Quality, etc)
Socio Economic Objective 970107 Expanding Knowledge in the Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2007, Soil Science Society of America
Free to Read? Yes
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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