Wastewater re-use for peri-urban agriculture: A viable option for adaptive water management?

Mathew Kurian, V. Ratna Reddy, Ton Dietz, Damir Brdjanovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Urbanization is known to spur land modification in the form of conversion of common land to human settlements. This factor, combined with climate variability, can alter the duration, frequency and intensity of storm drain overflows in urban areas and lead to public health risks. In peri-urban regions where these risks are especially high it has been argued that, when domestic wastewater is managed, better prospects for freshwater water savings through swaps between urban water supply and irrigated agriculture may be possible. As a consequence of re-use of domestic wastewater, expenditure on inorganic inputs by farmers may decline and source sustainability of water supply could be enhanced. Given the fact that, at present, approximately 20 million ha of land worldwide is being cultivated by re-using domestic wastewater, this paper draws on evidence from India to explore: (1) the economic costs-benefits of wastewater reuse in the context of hypothesized links to climate variability; (2) the role of local farming practices, market conditions and crop variety in influencing wastewater reuse in agriculture; and (3) the role of inter-governmental financing in influencing the selection of technical adaptation options for collection, treatment and disposal of wastewater.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-59
Number of pages13
JournalSustainability Science
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Health(social science)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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