Reuse of Wastewater in Agriculture

  • M. P. Tripathi
  • Yatnesh Bisen
  • Priti Tiwari


Reuse of water is defined as “water which is used twice or more time before it returns back to the natural water cycle”. Treated wastewater is reused for beneficial purposes which include domestic use as toilet flushing, agricultural and landscape irrigation, industrial processes and replenishing/recharging a groundwater basin. water reuse defined as the dependency on the use of groundwater and surface water sources and can reduce the diversion of water from susceptible ecological systems. Moreover, water reuse may decline the nutrient concentration from wastewater flows into waterways, thereby decreasing and controlling pollution. This chapter built in the different sources and possibilities of reuse wastewater, their advantages, disadvantages and possible risks. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the World Health Organization (WHO) health guidelines for the reuse of wastewater and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) water quality guidelines for irrigation are integrated in this chapter. On the basis of these guidelines, recommendations and policy implementations for safe reuse of wastewater in irrigation and various purposes are suggested in this chapter. Further, the issue of wastewater reclamation is given and discussed properly in this chapter, which can be taken into consideration before implementing the reuse of wastewater for agriculture in India and abroad. The prospective reuse of wastewater depends on the hydraulic and biochemical individuality of wastewater, which determines the systems and extent of treatment required. Irrigation usually requires a lower quality of treatment of wastewater. However, properly designed and adequately implemented wastewater reuse system is an environmental protection measure which is superior to discharging treated wastewater into surface waters. It is the authors’ hope that the content of this chapter will facilitate the consideration of reuse as an integral part of water management strategies in development projects. In this context the aim of the authors is to convey the message that the wastewater irrigation is to maximize the benefits to the poor (who depend on the resource) while minimizing the risks. The integrated guidelines will help task managers and development agency staff to prepare wastewater reuse projects. The information and material about wastewater reuse in agriculture shows that an integrated planning approach, considering economic as well as environmental and health issues, related to water reuse, is essentially a guaranty for the success.


  1. Abdel-Ghaffar AS, El-Attar HA, Elsokkary IH (1988) Chapter 17: Egyptian experience in the treatment and use of sewage and sludge in agriculture. In: Pescod MB, Arar A (eds) Treatment and use of sewage effluent for irrigation. Butterworths, SevenoaksGoogle Scholar
  2. Al-Salem SS (1987) Evaluation of the Al Samra waste stabilization pond system and its suitability for unrestricted irrigation. Paper prepared for the Land and Water Development Division, FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  3. Anonymous (2004) NATP – MM project report on ‘Use of urban and industrial effluent in agriculture’ CSSRI, Karnal 132001, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  4. Arar A (1988) Chapter 2: background to treatment and use of sewage effluent. In: Pescod MB, Arar A (eds) Treatment and use of sewage effluent for irrigation. Butterworths, SevenoaksGoogle Scholar
  5. Bartone CR (1986) Introduction to wastewater irrigation: extent and approach. Third annual World Bank irrigation and drainage seminar, Annapolis, Maryland. The World Bank, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  6. Bhamoriya V (2004) Wastewater irrigation in Vadodara, Gujarat, India: economic catalyst for marginalized communities. In: Scott CA, Faruqui NI, Raschid-Sally L (eds) Wastewater use in irrigated agriculture: confronting livelihhod and environmental realities. CAB International in Association with IWMI/IDRC, Colmbo/OttawaGoogle Scholar
  7. CGWB (2011) Ground water year book – India 2010–11. Central Ground Water Board, Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India.
  8. CPCB (2005) Performance status of common effluent treatment plants in India. Central Pollution Control Board, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  9. CPCB (2007) Advance methods for treatment of textile industry effluents, Resource Recycling Series: RERES/&/2007. Central Pollution Control Board, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  10. CWC (2010) Water and related statistics. Water Planning and Project Wing, Central Water Commission, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  11. DONTA, ANTONIA ALKISTIS (1997) Der Boden als Bioreaktor bei der Aufbringung von Abwasser auf landwirtschaftlich genutzte Flächen. Veröffentlichungen des Institutes für Siedlungswasser-wirtschaft und Abfalltechnik der Universität Hannover, Heft 100Google Scholar
  12. FAO (1977) Crop water requirements. In: Doorenbos J, Pruitt W (eds) Irrigation and drainage paper 24. FAO, Rome, 144 pGoogle Scholar
  13. FAO (1979) Yield response to water. In: Doorenbos J, Kassam AH (eds) Irrigation and drainage paper 33. FAO, Rome, p 203Google Scholar
  14. FAO (1985) Water quality for agriculture. In: Ayers RS, Westcot DW (eds) Irrigation and drainage paper 29 Rev. 1. FAO, Rome, p 174Google Scholar
  15. FAO (1988) Irrigation practice and water management. In: Doneen LD, Westcot DW (eds) Irrigation and drainage paper 1, Rev. 1. FAO, Rome, p 71Google Scholar
  16. Hall HC, Thompson SG (1981) Site selection techniques for land disposal of treated municipal wastewater. In: Proceedings water reuse symposium II: water reuse in the future. American Water Works Association (AWWA) Research Foundation, Denver, ColoradoGoogle Scholar
  17. Hillel D (1987) The efficient use of water in irrigation. World Bank technical paper no. 64. The World Bank, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  18. Hillman PJ (1988) Chapter 5: health aspects of reuse of treated wastewater for irrigation. In: Pescod MB, Arar A (eds) Treatment and use of sewage effluent for irrigation. Butterworths, SevenoaksGoogle Scholar
  19. Kandiah A (1990) Criteria and classification of saline water. In: Kandiah A (ed) Water, soil and crop management practices relating to the use of saline water. AGL/MIC/16/90. FAO, Rome, pp 34–51Google Scholar
  20. Mara DD, Cairncross S (1989) Guidelines for the safe use of wastewater and excreta in agriculture and aquaculture – measures for public health protection. World Health Organization, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  21. Mertz RC (1956) Continued study of wastewater reclamation and utilization. California State Water Pollution Control Board Publication No. 15, Sacramento: California State Water Pollution Control BoardGoogle Scholar
  22. Minhas PS, Samra JS (2004) Wastewater use in Peri-urban agriculture: impacts and opportunities. Bulletin No. 2, CSSRI, Karnal 132001, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  23. Nakayama FS (1982) Water analysis and treatment techniques to control emitter plugging. In: Proceedings of irrigation association conference, 21–24 February 1982, Portland, OregonGoogle Scholar
  24. National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering (1972) Water quality criteria. US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington DC. Report No. EPA-R373–033, p 592Google Scholar
  25. Pant D, Adholeya A (2007) Biological approaches for treatment of distillery wastewater: a review. Bioresour Technol 98:2321–2334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Papadopoulos I, Stylianou Y (1988) Ongoing research on the use of treated sewage effluent for irrigating industrial and fodder crops. In: Pescod MB, Arar A (eds) Treatment and use of sewage effluent for irrigation. Butterworths, SevenoaksGoogle Scholar
  27. Pratt PF (1972) Quality criteria for trace elements in irrigation waters. California Agricultural Experiment Station, p 46Google Scholar
  28. Sepp E (1971) The use of sewage for irrigation – a literature review. State of California Department of Public Health, SacramentoGoogle Scholar
  29. Strauss M, Blumenthal U (1990) Human waste use in agriculture and aquaculture: utilization practice and health perspectives. IRCWD report 09/90. International Reference Centre for Waste Disposal, Duebendorf, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  30. UNEP (1991) Environmental guidelines for municipal wastewater reuse in the Mediterranean region. In: Tedeschi S, Pescod MB (eds) Mediterranean action plan – priority actions programme. Regional Activity Centre, SplitGoogle Scholar
  31. Van Schilfgaarde J (1984) Drainage design for salinity control. In: Shainberg I, Shalheret J (eds) Proceedings of soil salinity under irrigation. Springer, New York, pp 190–197Google Scholar
  32. Webster RA (1954) Sewage effluent disposal through crop irrigation. Sewage Ind Waste 26:133–137Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. P. Tripathi
    • 1
  • Yatnesh Bisen
    • 1
  • Priti Tiwari
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Soil and Water EngineeringSVCAET & RS, FAE, IGKVRaipurIndia

Personalised recommendations