Wastewater reuse in nexus perspective: Environmental, economic and societal opportunities
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), United Nations University Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES)
- Birguy Lamizana, UNEP
- Ines Dombrowsky, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
- Tamara Avellan, UNU-FLORES
The seminar explored the opportunities of using wastewater within multifunctional land-use systems for the production of food and energy crops. In this approach the wastewater is treated in a target-oriented manner to be used for irrigation and nutrient supply of the respective land-use, considering health and environmental aspects. The fit for purpose wastewater treatment is cost-effective and reduces the demand for freshwater and fertilisers, which is particularly important for small-holder farmers. Besides directly contributing to food and energy security, the multifunctional land-use systems will reduce the removal and collection of biomass (for heating and cooking) in regions where this energy supply is particularly important, e.g. in urban transition zones in sub-Saharan Africa. Such a target-oriented reuse of wastewater will contribute to sustaining soil fertility and soil-related ecosystem services. Using wastewater in this way will also provide opportunities to enhance/develop the value chain of all products (food crops, energy crops, energy from wastewater, etc.). Capacity development at multiple levels is required to implement such an approach in a sustainable manner, which would address major issues of the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 1, 2, 6, 7, 13 and 15.
Objectives and expected outcome
The main objective of the seminar was to showcase how the reuse of wastewater in multifunctional land-use systems may improve soil productivity and enhance food and non-food value chains. This should be an interesting option particularly in urban to peri-urban transition zones where wastewater infrastructure is lacking or poorly developed, while agricultural land-use is playing a role (mainly for smallholder farmers).
Water and wastewater managers, scientists and decision makers, NGOs, stakeholders from agriculture, livestock and bioenergy sector
Wastewater as a resource in a circular economy
- Stefan Uhlenbrook, UNESCO, Italy
The importance of laws and legal frameworks to provide norms and guidelines in support of effective and sustainable wastewater management.
- Florian Thevenon, WaterLex, Switzerland
Nexus-Oriented Approach for Sharing Water Resources: Development of Eco-industrial Parks in the Catchment of Zayandeh Rud River, Iran
- Janis Von Koerber, University of Applied Sciences Magdeburg, Germany
Added-value from the nexus of wastewater treatment, crop production and the generation of bioenergy: A case study on reusing wastewater and sludge in crop production in Braunschweig (Germany)
- Oliver Maaß, Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy (ATB), Germany
Constructed wetlands as the nexus of water, waste and energy
- Paul Gremillion, Northern Arizona University, United States
Sustainable and safe reuse of wastewater and human waste in food production in peri-urban areas of Karnataka, India
- Girija R, Consortium for DEWATS Dissemination (CDD Society), India
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