Just Earth News 20 Jan 2017
“Properly managed, wastewater can be used safely to support crop production – directly through irrigation or indirectly by recharging aquifers – but doing so requires diligent management of health risks through adequate treatment or appropriate use,” the Food and Agricultural Organization said in a press release.
Sound management of wastewater in agricultural production is the focus of a discussion by a group of experts on Thursday in Berlin, Germany, at the opening day of the annual Global Forum for Food and Agriculture. The Forum – this year organized around agriculture and water – has been convened by FAO, along with the United Nations University, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the Leibniz Research Alliance.
“Although more detailed data on the practice is lacking, we can say that, globally, only a small proportion of treated wastewater is being used for agriculture, most of it municipal wastewater,” said Marlos De Souza, a senior officer with FAO's Land and Water Division.
The use of water recycling is already being used by some small farmers and has shown successful results near cities where wastewater is widely available and inexpensive.
An increasing number of countries are now exploring its use on a larger scale. Among these Egypt, Jordan, Mexico, Spain and the United States.
Participants at the Berlin event will also discuss how to manage risks The biggest concern is proper treatment of the wastewater, often contains microbes and pathogens, chemical pollution, antibiotic residues, and other threats to the health of farmers, food chain workers, and consumers.
- UN forum to coordinate global efforts to address worsening water shortages
- At start of World Water Week, UN Assembly President says water and sanitation goals need 'major push'
- Billions around the world lack safe water, proper sanitation facilities, reveals UN report
- Water resources ministry and others sign funding agreement for irrigation projects
- Conservation of water essential, Indian farmers can do wonder with it : PM Modi