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Regional Environmental Change

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 693–705 | Cite as

The reuse of reclaimed water for irrigation around the Mediterranean Rim: a step towards a more virtuous cycle?

  • Nassim Ait-Mouheb
  • Akiça Bahri
  • Bechir Ben Thayer
  • Boumediene Benyahia
  • Guilhem Bourrié
  • Brahim Cherki
  • Nicolas Condom
  • Rémi Declercq
  • Adem Gunes
  • Marc Héran
  • Nurgul Kitir
  • Bruno Molle
  • Dominique Patureau
  • Alfieri Pollice
  • Alain Rapaport
  • Pierre Renault
  • Khalifa Riahi
  • Bruno Romagny
  • Tewfik Sari
  • Carole Sinfort
  • Jean-Philippe Steyer
  • Samer Talozi
  • Bulent Topcuoglu
  • Metin Turan
  • Nathalie Wéry
  • Ertan Yıldırım
  • Jérôme Harmand
Review

Abstract

Climate change and a growing population around the Mediterranean Rim are increasing the need for water and, consequently, the pressure on resources in terms of both quantity and quality. High-quality water should be primarily reserved to drinking water while reclaimed water is an alternative for other usages. A review of situations in Tunisia, Jordan, France, and Italy involving the use of reclaimed water highlights the disparity in national regulations governing this alternative water resource and in its management. On the first hand, the use of recycled water for irrigation can have an adverse impact on public health and the environment, depending on treatment and irrigation practices. On the other hand, it may also represent a new source of water: wastewater should no longer be considered as waste but, rather, as a new resource to be handled in a circular economy-type loop. Current scientific knowledge in agronomic and environmental sciences, as well as in the economic and social sciences, can be integrated and used to lower the associated risk through the effective management of irrigation using recycled water and to address the following questions: (i) How can the time-varying nutrient needs of crops be managed to operate safe environmental reuse within an adapted risk assessment framework? (ii) What socio-economic models can render this integrated approach sustainable? (iii) What treatment systems and irrigation technology can be used to support these ideas and with what information? (iv) What changes in the regulations are needed?

Keywords

Wastewater reuse Irrigation in agriculture Environmental impacts Sanitary and environmental impacts Systemic approach Integrated treatment systems 

Notes

Funding information

The authors thank for their financial support the SICMED Mediterranean research network (http://www.sicmed.net/), the TREASURE research network (https://project.inria.fr/treasure/), the UTIQUE project 2013 No. 28687SF “Ecologie microbienne et modélisation pour le traitement de l’eau,” the TASSILI project 2015 No. 33254QH “Procédés membranaires pour le traitement anaérobie des eaux usées—Modélisation, commande et optimisation,” the Water4Crops FP7 project, “Integrating bio-TWW with enhanced water use efficiency to support the Green Economy in EU and India,” No. 311933, the Mad4Water EU Horizon 2020 project, “Development And application of integrated technological and management solutions for wastewater treatment and efficient reuse in agriculture tailored to the needs of Mediterranean African Countries,” and the NOWWMA project, “New Process for Optimizing Wastewater Reuse from Mauguio to the Mediterranean Area” in support of the French Reuse Directive.

Supplementary material

10113_2018_1292_MOESM1_ESM.docx (27 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 26 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nassim Ait-Mouheb
    • 1
  • Akiça Bahri
    • 2
  • Bechir Ben Thayer
    • 3
  • Boumediene Benyahia
    • 4
  • Guilhem Bourrié
    • 5
  • Brahim Cherki
    • 4
  • Nicolas Condom
    • 6
  • Rémi Declercq
    • 6
  • Adem Gunes
    • 7
    • 8
  • Marc Héran
    • 9
  • Nurgul Kitir
    • 7
  • Bruno Molle
    • 1
  • Dominique Patureau
    • 10
  • Alfieri Pollice
    • 11
  • Alain Rapaport
    • 12
  • Pierre Renault
    • 5
  • Khalifa Riahi
    • 3
  • Bruno Romagny
    • 13
  • Tewfik Sari
    • 14
    • 15
  • Carole Sinfort
    • 14
  • Jean-Philippe Steyer
    • 9
  • Samer Talozi
    • 16
  • Bulent Topcuoglu
    • 17
  • Metin Turan
    • 7
  • Nathalie Wéry
    • 9
  • Ertan Yıldırım
    • 18
  • Jérôme Harmand
    • 10
  1. 1.G-EAU, Irstea, CIRAD, IRD, AgroParisTech, Montpellier SupAgroUniv MontpellierMontpellierFrance
  2. 2.National Water Research Institute for Rural Engineering, Water and ForestryTunisTunisia
  3. 3.Ecole Supérieure des Ingénieurs de l’Equipement Rural de Medjez El BabMajaz al BabTunisia
  4. 4.Université de TlemcenTlemcenAlgeria
  5. 5.UMR 1114 Emmah, INRA–UAPVAvignon Cedex 9France
  6. 6.EcofilaeClapiersFrance
  7. 7.Department of Genetics and BioengineeringYeditepe UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  8. 8.Soil Science and Plant Nutrition DepartmentErciyes UniversityKayseriTurkey
  9. 9.IEM Université MontpellierMontpellier Cedex 5France
  10. 10.LBE, Univ Montpellier, INRANarbonneFrance
  11. 11.IRSA CNRBariItaly
  12. 12.MISTEA, INRA, Montpelier SupAgroUniv MontpelierMontpellierFrance
  13. 13.LMI Mediter, MarocAix Marseille Univ, IRD, LPED, Aix Marseille UniversitéMarseilleFrance
  14. 14.ITAP, Irstea, Montpellier SupAgroUniv MontpellierMontpellierFrance
  15. 15.Université de Haute Alsace, LMIAMulhouseFrance
  16. 16.Civil Engineering DepartmentJordan University of Science and TechnologyIrbidJordan
  17. 17.Vocational School of Technical SciencesAkdeniz UniversityAntalyaTurkey
  18. 18.Faculty of Agriculture, Department of HorticultureAtaturk UniversityErzurumTurkey

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