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Urban growth, wastewater production and use in irrigated agriculture: a comparative study of Accra, Addis Ababa and Hyderabad

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journal contribution
posted on 2010-04-15, 09:17 authored by Daniel J. Van Rooijen, Trent W. Biggs, Ian Smout, Pay Drechsel
The relationships between urban development, water resources management and wastewater use for irrigation have been studied in the cities of Accra in Ghana, Addis Ababa in Ethiopia and Hyderabad in India. Large volumes of water are extracted from water sources often increasingly far away from the city, while investments in wastewater management are often lagging behind. The resulting environmental degradation within and downstream of cities has multiple consequences for public health, in particular through the use of untreated wastewater in irrigated agriculture. Despite significant efforts to increase wastewater treatment, options for safeguarding public health via conventional wastewater treatment alone remain limited to smaller inner-urban watersheds. The new WHO guidelines for wastewater irrigation recognize this situation and emphasize the potential of post- or non-treatment options. Controlling potential health risks will allow urban water managers in all three cities to build on the benefits from the already existing (but largely informal) wastewater reuse, those being the contribution to food security and reduction of fresh water demands.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Research Unit

  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)


VAN ROOIJEN, D.J. ... et al, 2010. Urban growth, wastewater production and use in irrigated agriculture: a comparative study of Accra, Addis Ababa and Hyderabad. Irrigation and Drainage Systems, 24 (1-2), pp. 53-64.


© Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


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This article was published in the journal, Irrigation and Drainage Systems [© Springer Science+Business Media B.V.] and the definitive version is available at: http://www.springerlink.com/content/e749744553628469/fulltext.html




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