Wastewater is an essential means of irrigation. It contributes to approximately 10 percent of the total irrigated surface worldwide. As per a study conducted, the use of wastewater from big cities and towns to irrigate agricultural land is 50% more widespread than was previously estimated. The study enlightens about the requirement of measures to reduce the risks to public health posed by the wastewater use in agriculture. It provides that the use of wastewater is most common in areas prone to high pollution and wastewater generation.
Farmers usually prefer using raw wastewater because of its high nutrient value. The results of the study depict that 65% of all the land irrigated are within 40 km of urban centres and are affected by wastewater flows. It states that there is need to employ tested techniques in order to recover and safely use the valuable resources from wastewater. The study is estimated to influence the minds of policy makers and sanitation experts concerning the need to fulfil Sustainable Development Goal 6, particularly target 3 which focusses on increased recycling and safe water reuse. Some of the major challenges to this may be (i) cultivation of behaviour change from farm to fork; (ii) large scale efforts needed to put reuse of resources on a business footing.
Therefore, safe resource recovery and reuse play a major role in tackling health, environment risks. Simultaneously, they contribute in achievement of more resilient cities and sustainable agriculture.
By: Anuja Arora