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Natural purification through soils: risks and opportunities of sewage effluent reuse in sub-surface irrigation


“Worldwide freshwater resources are under increasing stress, with a mismatch between demand and availability of water resources across both temporal and geographical scales (IWA 2018; UN-Water 2018). The main causes of freshwater resources being under stress are interlinked and include changes in water availability due to climate change, increases in water withdrawal for food security, and other economic activities. This was also analyzed with different socio-economic pathways indicating an increased global water withdrawal between 12 and 29% for 2050 compared to 2010 (Bijl et al. 2018), which will enhance prolonged dry periods (Chen et al. 2018). Increase in agricultural irrigation is currently one of the main global threats accounting for 69% of freshwater withdrawal (FAO 2016). This is not only an issue for arid regions with low rainfall and high population density that are prone to increasing water stress; also temperate areas with intense agriculture suffer from frequent non-potable freshwater shortages (Massoud et al. 2018; Voulvoulis 2018). Therefore, alternative water resources are explored in order to meet the current and future water demand.”

(Citation: Narain-Ford, D.M., Bartholomeus, R.P., Dekker, S.C., van Wezel, A.P. – Natural Purification Through Soils: Risks and Opportunities of Sewage Effluent Reuse in Sub-surface Irrigation – In: Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology (Continuation of Residue Reviews) 241(2020)Book chapter – Springer, Cham. – DOI: 10.1007/398_2020_49 – (Open Access))

This chapter is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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