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The wealth of waste: the economics of wastewater use in agriculture

Reclaimed water use can help to mitigate the damaging effects of local water scarcity. It is not the only option for bringing supply and demand into a better balance, and this report shows how different options can be analysed for comparison, but in many cases it is a cost effective solution, as the growing number of reuse schemes in different parts of the world testify. A recent comprehensive survey found over 3,300 water reclamation facilities worldwide. Agriculture is the predominant user of reclaimed water, and its use for this purpose has been reported in around 50 countries, on 10% of all irrigated land. This report presents an economic framework for the assessment of the use of reclaimed water in agriculture, as part of a comprehensive planning process in water resource allocation strategies to provide for a more economically efficient and sustainable water utilization. Judging by the evidence of the case studies from Spain and Mexico, it is unlikely that schemes could be economically justified with reference only to agriculture. The economic framework for wastewater reuse presented in chapters 3 and 4 is intended to fit within a comprehensive planning framework. Chapter 5 presents such a planning framework, its key elements being: identification of problem and project objectives; definition of study area and background information; market assessment and market assurances; identification of project alternatives; appraisal and ranking of project alternatives; and implementation. Among the major specific technical issues to be addressed are: facilities and infrastructure, balancing supply and demand, wastewater quality, and public health risks and safeguards.

TitleThe wealth of waste: the economics of wastewater use in agriculture
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsWinpenny, J., Heinz, I., Koo-Oshima, S.
Secondary TitleWater reports / Rapports sur l'eau / FAO
Volumeno. 35
Paginationxv, 129 p. : 9 boxes, 10 fig., 9 maps, 34 tab.
Date Published2010-01-01
PublisherFood and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Place PublishedRome, Italy
ISSN Number9789251065785
Keywordscase studies, cost benefit analysis, economic aspects, feasibility studies, irrigation, mexico, planning, sdiman, spain, wastewater recycling
Abstract

Reclaimed water use can help to mitigate the damaging effects of local water scarcity. It is not the only option for bringing supply and demand into a better balance, and this report shows how different options can be analysed for comparison, but in many cases it is a cost effective solution, as the growing number of reuse schemes in different parts of the world testify. A recent comprehensive survey found over 3,300 water reclamation facilities worldwide. Agriculture is the predominant user of reclaimed water, and its use for this purpose has been reported in around 50 countries, on 10% of all irrigated land. This report presents an economic framework for the assessment of the use of reclaimed water in agriculture, as part of a comprehensive planning process in water resource allocation strategies to provide for a more economically efficient and sustainable water utilization. Judging by the evidence of the case studies from Spain and Mexico, it is unlikely that schemes could be economically justified with reference only to agriculture. The economic framework for wastewater reuse presented in chapters 3 and 4 is intended to fit within a comprehensive planning framework. Chapter 5 presents such a planning framework, its key elements being: identification of problem and project objectives; definition of study area and background information; market assessment and market assurances; identification of project alternatives; appraisal and ranking of project alternatives; and implementation. Among the major specific technical issues to be addressed are: facilities and infrastructure, balancing supply and demand, wastewater quality, and public health risks and safeguards.

NotesBibliography: p. 111-129
Custom 1351.3, 302.7