Wastewater Reuse for Agriculture

The treatment that is good for the land and its productivity

How to deal efficiently and rationally with water management issues? In agriculture, one answer is immediately obvious: the treatment and reuse of the blue resource, which is used elsewhere and often wasted. Some technologies, such as free-fiber cloth filters, support the achievement of this goal.

Water reuse for irrigation purposes: potential and regulations

Here is a classic area where wastewater reuse is a huge benefit to the economy and the environment: agriculture.

From floods to droughts, a number of global weather events have highlighted in recent years how problematic water management, recycling, and storage is. In particular, agriculture is one of the most freshwater-consuming sectors in the world, and the protection of this resource (along with its rational management, from a landscape architecture perspective) has become crucial.

European legislation is providing a good framework for the reuse of water for irrigation purposes.

  • The Water Framework Directive (No. 2000/60/EC) was the first to provide the spur for EU member states to reuse treated water: especially for irrigation purposes.
  • In addition, Directive 91/271/EEC, also known as the Urban Waste Water Directive, sets minimum requirements for treatment. There is also provision for reuse for irrigation purposes, provided that certain quality requirements are met.

There is no doubt that wastewater reuse for agriculture will continue to grow in the coming years, with a focus on criteria to implement it. And of course, the technologies to implement this already exist.

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Riutilizzo Acque per Agricoltura

MITA solutions for agricultural wastewater reuse

For the reuse of water for irrigation purposes, MITA Water Technologies proposes a highly efficient solution: pile cloth filters (or “free-fiber cloth filters”).

The removal of suspended solids operated by this tertiary filtration system is about 5 mg/l: percentages that make the water treated by this technology useful for a very wide range of crops.

It should be pointed out that there are some exceptions: for example, vegetable cultivation is not allowed with water containing these ranges of suspended solids (at least not according to current European regulations). However, it remains a very wide and growing area of application.

Benefits of wastewater reuse in agriculture

  • Resource use efficiency: wastewater reuse allows water that would otherwise be wasted to be reused.
    Climate change mitigation: demand for drinking water is reduced, which is often obtained from surface sources, such as rivers and lakes.
  • Cost reduction: supply and treatment become cheaper.
  • Increased agricultural productivity: this is of course a direct consequence of the previous points, as the supply of this resource is less critical.
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