The use of wastewater in agriculture is occurring more frequently because of water scarcity and population growth. Often the poorest households rely on this resource for their livelihood and food security needs. However, there are negative health implications of this practice that need to be addressed. WHO developed Guidelines for the Safe Use of Wastewater in Agriculture in 1989. The Guidelines are currently being revised based on new data from epidemiological studies, quantitative microbial risk assessments and other relevant information. WHO guidelines must be practical and offer feasible risk management solutions that will minimize health threats and allow for the beneficial use of scarce resources. To achieve the greatest impact on health, guidelines should be implemented with other health measures such as: health education, hygiene promotion, provision of adequate drinking water and sanitation, and other health care measures.
The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the World Health Organization or other institutions indicated