Possibilities to eliminate the issues relating to wastewater.


Photo credit: AZO Cleantech

Caution, no drinking water. Only 0.3 % of the water on the Earth�s surface is suited for use as drinking water. KIT scientists study possibilities of improving wastewater use. (Photo: KIT)

KIT Researchers Propose New Ways to Utilize Wastewater

Written by AZoCleantech

A team of researchers from the “Water-Energy Group” of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) are studying possibilities to eliminate the issues relating to wastewater.

Wastewater is considered to be of no use. Washing water is said to an average temperature of 30 °C. Toilet water can be used not only for producing fertilizers or biogas but also as valuable resources that otherwise is dumped in the sewer system unused. What is worse is that annually, over 2 million people die from diarrheal diseases because of the wrong use of wastewater.

Although water covers around 72% of the Earth’s surface, only 0.3% can be utilized as drinking water.

Read the full article: AZO Cleantech

With that in mind, wastewater is no waste. It contains thermal energy, chemical energy in the form of carbon compounds, and valuable plant nutrients. Now, we have to develop processes for the use of these resources.

Helmut Lehn, Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)


Wastewater, once treated, can help meet the needs for freshwater as well as energy and agriculture.


Photo credit: UN News Centre

A wastewater treatment facility in Manila, the Philippines. Photo: Danilo Pinzon / World Bank

Wastewater should be recognized as a valuable resource, UN says on World Water Day

In a world where the demand for water continues to grow and the resource is finite, a new United Nations report argues that wastewater, discarded into the environment every day, once treated, can help meet the needs for freshwater as well as for raw materials for energy and agriculture.

Needless to mention, treating wastewater and removing pollutants can also remarkably reduce the impact on the environment as well as on health.

“Improved wastewater management is as much about reducing pollution at the source, as removing contaminants from wastewater flows, reusing reclaimed water and recovering useful by-products [as it is about increasing] social acceptance of the use of wastewater,” noted Irina Bokova, the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General in her foreword to the World Water Development Report 2017 – Wastewater: An untapped resource.

The report, launched today in Durban, South Africa, on the occasion of World Water Day, also highlights that improved management of wastewater is essential in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“It’s all about carefully managing and recycling the water that runs through our homes, factories, farms and cities,” said Guy Ryder, the Director-General of the UN International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Chair of UN-Water, urging for reducing and safely reusing more wastewater.

“Everyone can do their bit to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal target to halve the proportion of untreated wastewater and increase safe water reuse by 2030.”

Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG6) has specific targets on halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally (target 6.3) as well as supporting countries in wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies (target 6.a).

Read the full article: UN News Centre

Municipal liquid waste an option for addressing water scarcity


Photo credit: FAO

In California, wastewater is sanitized and blended with groundwater, supporting large-scale crop production.

Exploring the use of wastewater in agriculture

Once seen as a problem to be disposed of, municipal liquid waste is now being eyed as an option for addressing water scarcity

With food demand and water scarcity on the uptick, it’s time to stop treating wastewater like garbage and instead manage it as a resource that can be used to grow crops and help address water scarcity in agriculture.

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.

How countries are approaching this challenge and the latest trends in the use of wastewater in agriculture production will be the focus of discussions by a group of experts taking place today in Berlin during the annual Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (19-21 January). The event has been convened by FAO along with the United Nations University, Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH), the UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the Leibniz Research Alliance Food and Nutrition.

Read the full article: FAO

Climate change, agriculture and water management


Photo credit: The Conversation

Water and agriculture is high on the agenda at this year’s climate talks. Shutterstock

Managing water is key to adapting African agriculture to climate change

A unanimous decision on how to take action on climate change is incredibly rare. Yet, African nations have overwhelmingly included climate resilient agriculture in their indicative pledges to the United Nations. And agriculture is seen as a major focus through a common position of the African Union on climate adaptation.

Agriculture employs more than 60% of Africa’s working population. But low productivity and high levels of food insecurity persist. So the inclusion of agriculture in strategies should come as no surprise. The question is: how are African nations going to move from pledges to progress?

The Moroccan government, host of this year’s COP22 climate talks, is seeking the answer with the launch of the ambitious Adaptation of African Agriculture initiative. The initiative is high on the agenda. The aim is to mobilise $30 billion to make agriculture more resilient to the changing climate.

Improved water management

This is one of the three key pillars of the initiative – and for good reason. Globally, agriculture uses around 70% of freshwater supply. But water sources are increasingly under threat. Thanks to climate change, annual rainfall in some regions of Africa – especially southern and northern Africa – is expected to decrease. Droughts will be more frequent, more intense and will last longer.

Increasing the amount of water for agriculture through water storage at all levels from field to reservoir will be a part of the solution. But existing water sources also can be managed better. In fact, certain regions in Africa have untapped water. Take west Africa, for example, where Ghana withdraws less than 2% of the available surface and groundwater resources. Yet crops are still perishing when drought hits, and people are still going hungry.

Read the full article: The Conversation

Mush Irrigation Scheme in Ethiopia for opportunities for best water management practices



Mush irrigation scheme in Ethiopia provides opportunities for improved crop and water management


Okwany, R.O.W. and Schmitter, P. 2016. Performance assessment of Mush Irrigation Scheme in Ethiopia for opportunities for best water management practices. Nairobi, Kenya: ILRI.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/77284
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The need for a participatory approach to water management and development interventions that also includes women.


Photo credit: CGIAR

A woman participating to an irrigation project in Zimbabwe. Photo credit: UN Photo/Milton Grant

Publication Review: Gender Dynamics in Water Governance Institutions in Zimbabwe

Submitted by Martina Antonucci

In Zimbabwe, the decentralization of water management in irrigation schemes may be an opportunity for rural communities to actively participate in and contribute to the management of their development process. In this context, the GCIAR Research Program on Dryland Systems emphasises the need for a participatory approach to water management and development interventions that also includes women. The recent study “Gender Dynamics in Water Governance Institutions: The Case of Gwanda’s Guyu-Chelesa Irrigation Scheme in Zimbabwe” gives an example of the challenges encountered by women who are involved in irrigation schemes management.

Through documentary research, interviews, questionnaires and non-obtrusive observation the authors of the article investigated women’s involvement in the water governance intervention of the Guyu-Chelesa Irrigation Scheme in Zimbabwe. Guyu-Chelesa is a farmer-managed irrigation scheme located in the Mzingwane Catchment, which is part of the Limpopo River Basin in Matabeleland South Province. The majority of farmers in this area are women, representing approximately 75% of the labourers. Women are the major users of water, as they not only irrigate the fields, but also perform the maintenance of irrigation infrastructures, investing significant time and efforts into it.

This important participation of women in irrigation farming is reflected in their high involvement in the Water Users Associations. Despite this, gender inequality still strongly exists at the committee level of the institutions where the percentage of women, although high, is still not proportional to the number of women conducting irrigation farming, and their decision-making power is significantly limited.

The authors report that although women participate in meetings more consistently than men, their voice is generally not heard or barely accepted. For example, women’s ideas about management and rehabilitation of irrigation infrastructures are recognized only when the complexity of the issue is minimal. For the rest of the discussions, only men have the power to make binding decisions, while women are only given the possibility to reinforce them.

Read the full article: CGIAR