Wastewater re-use for peri-urban agriculture: a viable option for adaptive water management? Sustain Sci 2012 DOI 10.1007/s11625-012-0178-0
Mathew Kurian, et al.
Urbanization is known to spur land modiﬁcation in the form of conversion of common land to human settlements. This factor, combined with climate variability, can alter the duration, frequency and intensity of storm drain overﬂows in urban areas and lead to public health risks. In peri-urban regions where these risks are especiallyhigh it has been argued that, when domestic wastewater is managed, better prospects for freshwater water savings through swaps between urban water supply and irrigated agriculture may be possible. As a consequence of re-use ofdomestic wastewater, expenditure on inorganic inputs by farmers may decline and source sustainability of water supply could be enhanced.
Given the fact that, at present, approximately 20 million ha of land worldwide is being cultivated by re-using domestic wastewater, this paper draws on evidence from India to explore: (1) the economic costs–beneﬁts of wastewater reuse in the context of hypothesized links to climate variability; (2) the role of local farming practices, market conditions and crop variety in inﬂuencing wastewater reuse in agriculture; and (3) the role of inter-governmental ﬁnancing in inﬂuencing theselection of technical adaptation options for collection,treatment and disposal of wastewater.