Wastewater Use in Agriculture: Policy Issues

Authored by: Dennis Wichelns

Managing Water Resources and Hydrological Systems

Print publication date:  July  2020
Online publication date:  July  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138342668
eBook ISBN: 9781003045045
Adobe ISBN:


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Policy issues regarding the use of wastewater for irrigation are different in developing and industrialized countries, due largely to differences in wastewater quality and in the funding available for building and operating treatment facilities. Most of the wastewater used for irrigation in industrialized countries is treated. Policy issues involve cost-sharing of treatment expenses and continuous review of water quality criteria. In developing countries, much of the wastewater irrigation is informal and unintentional, as farmers divert irrigation water from streams and ditches that carry untreated wastewater. Policy issues include reducing the risks to farmers and consumers of using untreated wastewater and consuming farm produce, while sustaining the economic benefits generated by using wastewater for irrigation.

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