The aim of this paper is to show that the three dimensions, irrigation, fertilization and disposal must be integrated if the reuse of treated wastewater (RTW) in agriculture is to become an ecologically sustainable and hygienically safe approach. Integration is a real option in both newly industrializing countries and poor developing countries. The option can be realized by adapting wastewater treatment to the needs of wastewater users as well as to the conditions of recipient soils that serve as a reservoir. This calls for treatment concepts that entail different goals which can be realized with the aid of both near-natural, low-cost methods and technically more demanding and cost-intensive approaches. The problems involved in implementation have less to do with funding needs than with the need for targeted management, a suitable legal framework, and institutions that are able to consistently handle both needs.
Research Article|February 01 2009