Wastewater Use in Agriculture: Policy Issues

Authored by: Dennis Wichelns

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:

10.1081/E-EEM-120046688

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Abstract

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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