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Applied Water Science

, Volume 1, Issue 3–4, pp 85–101 | Cite as

Application of water quality guidelines and water quantity calculations to decisions for beneficial use of treated water

  • Minh Phung T. Pham
  • James W. CastleEmail author
  • John H. RodgersJr.
Open Access
Original Article

Abstract

Water reuse guidelines were compiled as a decision-analysis screening tool for application to potential water reuse for irrigation, livestock watering, aquaculture, and drinking. Data compiled from the literature for water reuses yielded guideline values for over 50 water quality parameters, including concentrations of inorganic and organic constituents as well as general water chemistry parameters. These water quality guidelines can be used to identify constituents of concern in water, to determine the levels to which the constituents must be treated for water reuse applications, and assess the suitability of treated water for reuse. An example is provided to illustrate the application of water quality guidelines for decision analysis. Water quantity analysis was also investigated, and water volumes required for producing 16 different crops in 15 countries were estimated as an example of applying water quantity in the decision-making process regarding the potential of water reuse. For each of the countries investigated, the crop that produces the greatest yield in terms of weight per water volume is tomatoes in Australia, Brazil, Italy, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, USA; sugarcane in Chad, India, Indonesia, Sudan; watermelons in China; lettuce in Egypt, Mexico; and onions (dry) in Russia.

Keywords

Water use Water quality Water quantity Guidelines Crops Decision support 

Introduction

The need for water reuse is becoming critical as water supplies are dwindling and becoming increasingly contaminated (Asano et al. 2007; Meybeck and Helmer 1996). During the times of drought, water treated for reuse can serve as an essential, additional source of water. From a socio-economic standpoint, increasing water resources by reuse can strengthen the infrastructure of a country and improve the lives of its people. Reuse options for a specific location must take into account the water quantity, water quality, latitude, longitude, altitude, and local climatic conditions, as well as criticality and prioritization of needs (e.g. drinking, irrigation, livestock watering, industry, augmentation of surface flow). Multiple reuses may be feasible at a specific site depending upon the water quantity and the constituents in need of treatment.

Water supply is a worldwide issue that is becoming increasingly evident in many countries. Due to the geography and climate variations around the world, approximately 70% of the renewable water resources are unavailable for human use (Postel 2000; Shiklomanov 2000). Lack of a sufficient quantity of water suitable for irrigation and drinking can lead to food shortages and health concerns for millions. In addition, water scarcity can stifle a nation’s economy, fuel conflicts, and negatively impact the environment (Asano et al. 2007). The global water supply is being stressed further as human population continues to grow exponentially (Qadir et al. 2003, 2007). Consequently, there is an urgent need to increase water quantity for drinking and food production (e.g. irrigation and livestock watering).

The aim of water quality management is to minimize the health risks associated with either direct or indirect use of water. The need for standards and guidelines in water quality stems from the need to protect human health. Many countries have adopted guidelines or set standards for water quality for various uses. Guidelines are values set for specific parameters based on studies (e.g. toxicity and epidemiological) and field observations that typically represent the upper limit deemed safe for the use by receiving organisms or receptors (i.e. plants and animals). The main difference between the guidelines and standards is that the guidelines are recommendations while standards are enforceable by law. Commonly, standards apply to potable water due to direct consumption by people.

No single set of water quality guidelines is universally applicable. Many factors, including the level of technology, economic status, relative associated risk, and field conditions, influence the variability of guidelines among nations (Asano et al. 2007; Bixio et al. 2008; Jensen et al. 2001). Due to the inherent range among the available water quality guidelines, there is a need for an accepted set of guideline values that can be utilized for decision-making when dealing with water reuse issues. These guideline values are needed to identify the constituents of concern, determine the levels to which the constituents must be treated for water reuse, and assess the water reuse applications following the treatment.

With effective and efficient treatment, a variety of waters with impaired quality can potentially be beneficially used in many applications. The level of treatment required depends on the intended water usage (de Koning et al. 2008). Numerous crops have been successfully grown with treated wastewater including over twenty crop types (Asano et al. 2007). Application of water for growing crops requires an understanding of crop water requirements as water demand differs among the crops. Another potential use of treated wastewater is in rearing animals such as fish and livestock. Studies are being done to assess the feasibility of maintaining aquaculture with reused water (Nijhawan and Myers 2006). Expanded uses of water for cultivating fish and raising livestock can provide additional food sources for countries suffering from food shortages.

For efficient water reuse, a systematic approach is needed that considers both water quality and quantity. Therefore, the objectives of this investigation were: (1) compile water quality guidelines, which can be used in decision analysis, for irrigation, livestock watering, aquaculture, and drinking (potable water) and (2) develop estimations of water quantity required for crop production as an approach to assessing water quantity in the decision-making process regarding the potential of water reuse. This study provides an approach that considers both the water quality and water quantity with examples incorporating a database of multiple guidelines and calculations to assist in water reuse decisions.

Methods

Compilation of water quality guidelines

Existing water quality guidelines were compiled from government and non-government reports, books, and journals. The guidelines and references were entered into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet with separate worksheets for four reuse purposes: irrigation, livestock watering, aquaculture, and drinking. Guideline values for inorganic, organic, and various general chemistry parameters were entered for each reuse. A user interface for interactive data comparison between the user-input data and water quality guidelines was created within the spreadsheet. Concentration data were entered for constituents specific to the water composition, and the values entered were compared interactively to the guideline values for water reuse. Results of the data comparison indicated if input values met or exceeded the guideline values for each reuse purpose. An example is provided to illustrate application of the interactive spreadsheet as a screening tool in decision analysis regarding possible use options for untreated and treated water.

Water quantity required for crop production

Data compilation for selected crops and countries

Water volumes required for crop irrigation were estimated from calculations and published data. In order to demonstrate the application for potential beneficial use, various crops and several countries were selected for investigation. Data for average crop yield (hg/ha) (1997–2001) and crop water requirement (mm/crop period) by country were compiled from Chapagain and Hoekstra (2004). Crop water requirement (CWR) is equivalent to the amount of water needed for evapotranspiration (also termed crop evapotranspiration) for one growing period (i.e. planting to harvesting) under standard conditions, whereby conditions are free of pests, nutrient restrictions, and water restrictions (Allen et al. 1998). In order to obtain CWR, Chapagain and Hoekstra (2004) summed daily crop evapotranspiration over the crop growing period. Crop evapotranspiration is the product of crop coefficient and reference evapotranspiration (Eq. 1, from Chapagain and Hoekstra 2004).
$$ {\text{ET}}_{\text{c}} = K \times {\text{ET}}_{\text{o}} $$
(1)
where ETc. is the crop evapotranspiration (mm/day), K is crop coefficient (dimensionless), and ETo is reference evapotranspiration (mm/day).

ETc. includes evaporation due to solar radiation and transpiration by plants (Allen et al. 1998). K is a value that incorporates crop transpiration and soil evaporation, which varies with plant growth stage (i.e. initial, crop development, mid, and late-season) (Allen et al. 1998; Ko et al. 2009; Piccinni et al. 2009). ETo varies by climate and is independent of crop type and soil characteristics (Chapagain and Hoekstra 2004).

Calculation of water volume requirements and crop yields

Compiled values of average crop yield and crop water requirement (CWR) were used in calculations to quantify water requirements for the selected crops and countries. The calculations incorporated one crop growth period to obtain the following: (1) water volume (m3) required to grow one hectare of crop; (2) crop yield (kg) per 1,000 m3 (264,172 gal) water volume; (3) total water volume (m3) required per metric ton of crop produced; (4) daily water volume (m3) required per metric ton of crop produced; and (5) land area (ha) required per metric ton of crop.

Water volume required (m3) to grow one hectare of crop for one crop period was calculated by converting CWR from mm/crop period to m/crop period and then multiplying by 10,000 m2, which equals one hectare, using the following equation:
$$ V_{\text{w}} = ({\text{CWR}}) \times ( 0. 0 0 1 {\text{ m/mm}}) \times ( 1 0 , 0 0 0 {\text{ m}}^{ 2} ) $$
(2)
where Vw is water volume (m3 per ha per crop period), and CWR is crop water requirement (mm/crop period).
Crop yield (kg) per 1,000 m3 (264,172 gal) water volume during one crop growth period was calculated using Eq. 3:
$$ {\text{CY = (Cy/}}V_{\text{w}} )\times 1 0 0 0\times ({\text{kg/10 hg}}) $$
(3)
where CY is crop yield (kg/1,000 m3), and Cy is average crop yield (hg/ha) for 1997–2001 (Chapagain and Hoekstra 2004).
As shown by Eq. 3, crop yield (hg/ha) was divided by water volume (m3/ha), and the result was multiplied by 1,000 to obtain hg/1,000 m3, which was then converted to kg/1,000 m3 by multiplying by kg/10 hg. To calculate total water volume (m3) required per metric ton of crop production (TWV), the following equation was used:
$$ {\text{TWV = [CY}} \times ({\text{metric ton/1,000 kg}}) ]^{ - 1} $$
(4)
Using this equation, the units of crop yield were converted from kg/1,000 m3 to m3/metric ton. TWV is equivalent to average virtual water content as used by Chapagain and Hoekstra (2004). The approximate average daily water volume (m3) required per metric ton of crop production was calculated by dividing the TWV by the approximate duration of one plant growth period (Eq. 5).
$$ {\text{DWV = TWV/DPG}} $$
(5)
where DPG = approximate duration of growth period (days).
The DPG for each crop was obtained by averaging the growth period values reported by Allen et al. (1998) (Table 11). Eq. 6 was used to calculate A the approximate land area (ha) required per metric ton of crop. In equation 6, the average crop yield (hg/ha) was inverted, and the result was converted to ha/metric ton by multiplying by 10,000 hg/metric ton, where hg is hectogram (1 hg = 100 g).
$$ A = ({\text{Cy}})^{ - 1} \times ( 1 0 , 0 0 0 {\text{ hg/metric ton}}) $$
(6)

Results

Compilation of water quality guidelines

Compilation of guideline values for the four water reuse purposes yielded 36 water-quality parameters having guidelines for at least two of the reuse purposes (Table 1). The parameters include inorganic and organic constituents of concern (COCs) as well as general water chemistry parameters. The guidelines are summarized in Table 2, with the most stringent values listed for each constituent. Included in Table 2 are the guidelines for parameters pertinent for a specific reuse purpose, such as nitrogen for crop irrigation. A water quality parameter not listed in the guideline compilation does not imply that it cannot be a constituent of concern, but only that it was not among those found in the literature reviews conducted for this investigation. Guidelines compiled in this paper pertain to the water quality; guidelines for soil quality are available from other sources (e.g. WHO 2006).
Table 1

Compilation of water quality guidelines for irrigation, livestock, aquaculture, and drinking1,2

Parameter

Irrigation

Livestock

Aquaculture13

Drinking

Aluminum

5c,e,h,j,k,n,p

5e,h,k,p

0.0057,j,s; 0.18,j,s

0.05–0.2l

0.017,d; 0.038,d

0.1–0.2o,u

0.03h

0.15h

 

0.2i,m,q

Antimony

0.03j

0.003m

0.005i,q

0.006l,u

0.02o

Arsenic

0.1c,e,h,j,k,n,p

0.025p

0.005s

0.007m

0.2e

0.05h,d,j,r

0.01h,i,l,o,q,u

0.5k

 

0.05j

1h

  

Benzene

0.01j

0.3j

0.001i,m,q

0.37s

0.005l

 

0.01o,j

Benzo(a)pyrene

0.00001j

0.000015s

0.00001i,j,m,q

0.0002l

0.0007o

Beryllium

0.1c,e,h,j,k,n,p

0.1e,j,p

0.004l

BOD

10c

15g

Boron

0.5c,h,k

5e,h,k,p

0.5o

0.5–6p

1i,j,q

0.75n

4m

Cadmium

0.0051p

0.01h,k

0.0002–0.0018h

0.002m

0.01c,e,h,j,k,n

0.05e

0.0002–0. 002j

0.003o

 

0.08p

0.003r

0.005h,i,j,l,q

Chloride

100h

100h

100–700p

250i,l,m,q

178–710j

 

280c

 

Chromium12

0.008p (VI)

0.0511,p

0.001s(VI)

0.05i,j,m,o,q

0.1c,e,n

1e,j,k

0.01j

0.1l

1j

 

0.02h (VI)

 
  

0.1r

 

Cobalt

0.05c,e,h,j,k,n,p

1e,h,k,p

Copper

0.2e,h,j,k,n

0.4–5k

0.002–0.004s

1h

0.2–1.0p

0.5e,j

0.002–0.005j

1.3l

0.4c

0.5–5p

0.005h

2i,m,o,q

  

0.006r

 

Cyanide

0.05c

0.005d,j,r,s

0.05i,q

0.07o

0.1j

0.2l

Fluoride

1e,j,k,n,p

2e,h,k

0.02a

1h

2c,h

  

1.5i,m,o,q,u

   

l

Iron

0.2k

0.01d,h (II)

0.1h

1j

 

0.5r

0.2i,q

5c,e,h,n,p

 

1j

0.3l,m,u

Lead

0.1c

0.1e,h,k,p

0.001–0.005j

0.01h,i,m,o,u

0.2h,j,p

 

0.001–0.007a,s

0.015l

2k

 

0.01h

0.025q

5e,n

 

0.03r

0.05j

Magnesium

250–500e

15d

500h

600j

Manganese

0.02h

0.05e

0.01d,r

0.05h,i,l,q,u

0.2c,e,j,k,n,p

10h

0.1 h

0.4o

   

0.5m

Mercury

0.001c

0.002k

0.000026s

0.001h,i,j,m,o,q,u

0.002j,k

0.003p

0.00005r

0.002l

 

0.01e

0.0001j

 
  

0.001k

 

Molybdenum

0.01c,e,h,j,k,n

0.01h,j

0.073s

0.05m

0.01–0.05p

0.15k

 

0.07o

 

0.5p

  

Nickel

0.02c

1h,k,p

0.01k

0.02i,m,q

0.2e,h,j,k,n,p

0.015,r; 0.046,r

0.07o

 

0.015–0.15j

0.1j

 

0.025–0.15s

 
 

0.1d

 

Nitrate

10c

100h

1–100r

10l

133j

13s

45j,u

400k

50g

50i,m,o,q

 

1,330h

 

Nitrite

30k

0.06s

0.5i,q

33e,j,p

0.1b,d,r

1l

 

0.17h

3m,o

  

3.2j,u

Oil and Grease

35t

35t

0.3g

pH3,14

4.5–9.0j

5.0–9.0k

6.0–9.0h

6.0n

6.5–9.0h,j,s

6.5–8.5l,m,u

6.0–8.4c

6.8–9.5r

6.5–9.5i

6.0–8.5k

 

6.5–10q

6.5–8.4h

  

Selenium

0.02c,e,h,j,k,n

0.02k

0.001s

0.01i,j,m,o,q,u

0.02–0.05p

0.05e,h,p

0.01d

0.02h

  

0.3h(VI)

0.05l

Silver

0.0001j,s

0.05j

0.003d

0.1l,m,o

Sodium

70h

2,000h

100h

180m

200i,q

Sulfate

1,000h,j,k,p

200h

250i,l,o,q

500m,u

TDS

500–2,000n

3,000p

3,000f

450h

500–3,500p

3,000–13,000k

500l,m,u

 

5,000–15,000j

1,200o

Thallium

0.004j

0.002l

Turbidity4

1c

25h

1i

80r

4q

 

5m

Uranium

0.01h,j,k,p

0.2k,p

0.015o

0.02m,u

0.03l

Vanadium

0.1e,h,j,k,n,p

0.1e,j,p

0.1d

1h

Zinc

1h

20h,k

0.005d

3m,o

19,p; 510,p

24e

0.005–0.05j

5l,u

2n,p,q,s

50p

0.03s

 

4c

 

0.03–0.065,r; 1–26,r

 

1Units in mg/L unless noted, 2Values listed are upper limits unless indicated otherwise, 3Standard unit, 4Unit of nephelometric turbidity units (NTU), 5Soft water, 6Hard water, 7Water pH < 6.5,8Water pH > 6.5,9Soil pH < 6.5, 10Soil pH > 6.5, 11III or VI, 12Total chromium unless indicated otherwise, 13Freshwater environment, 14Guideline values are within the ranges listed

References: a (Tebbutt 1977), b (Coche 1981), c (Kalthem and Jamaan 1985), d (Meade 1989), e (Ayers and Westcot 1985), f (Lawson 1995), g (Schlotfeldt and Alderman 1995), h (DWAF 1996), i (EC 1998), j (SAEPA 1999-adapted from ANZECC 1992), k (ANZECC and ARMCANZ 2000), l (USEPA 2003), m (NHMRC and NRMMC 2004), n (USEPA 2004-adapted from Rowe and Adbel-Magid 1995), o (WHO 2004), p (CCME 2005), q (CIDWI 2006), r (QGEPA 2006), s (CCME 2007), t (Wilson 2007), u (CDW 2008)

Table 2

Guideline values used in this investigation for water quality decision analysisa,g

Parameter

Irrigationb

Livestockb

Aquacultureb

Drinkingb

Alkalinityc,e

130

Aluminum

5

5

0.005

0.05

Ammonium

0.5

Antimony

0.03

0.003

Arsenic

0.1

0.025

0.005

0.007

Barium

0.7

Benzene

0.3

0.001

Benzo(a)pyrene

0.000015

0.00001

Beryllium

0.1

0.1

0.004

BOD

10

15

Boron

0.5

5

0.3

Cadmium

0.0051

0.01

0.0002

0.002

Calcium

1000

Chloride

100

100

Chromiumf

0.1

0.05

0.01

0.05

Cobalt

0.05

1

COD

40

Copper

0.2

0.4

0.002

1

Cyanide

0.05

0.005

0.05

DOe

5

Fluoride

1

2

0.02

1

Hardnessc,e

150

200

Hydrogen sulfide

0.001

Iron

0.2

0.5

0.1

Lead

0.1

0.1

0.001

0.01

Lithium

0.07

Magnesium

250

15

Manganese

0.02

0.05

0.01

0.05

Mercury

0.001

0.002

0.000026

0.001

Molybdenum

0.01

0.01

0.073

0.07

Nickel

0.02

1

0.01

0.02

Nitrate

10

100

1

10

Nitrite

30

0.06

0.05

Nitrate-nitrite

100

Nitrogen

5

Oil and grease

35

35

0.3

Phosphate

0.1

Phosphorus

0.05

Potassium

50

Selenium

0.02

0.02

0.001

0.01

Silver

0.0001

0.05

Sulfate

1000

200

TDS

500

3000

3000

450

Thallium

0.004

0.002

Tin

0.001

TSS

10

Turbidityd

1

25

1

Uranium

0.01

0.2

0.015

Vanadium

0.1

0.1

0.1

Zinc

1

20

0.005

3

aLower concentration from among values listed in Table 1 unless indicated otherwise

bConcentration in mg/L, unless indicated otherwise

cConcentration in mg/L as CaCO3

dUnit of Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTU)

eMedian concentration

fTotal chromium

gReferences are listed in Table 1

For the majority of parameters the concentrations are most conservative for aquaculture (i.e. most stringent; generally, the lowest concentration values) with the least conservative values for livestock (Tables 1, 2). For example, concentration guidelines for aluminum, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, selenium, silver, and zinc are lower for aquaculture than for the other water reuse purposes. One of the most stringent guideline values (Table 1) is for mercury in aquacultural water, which is 0.026 μg/L (CCME 2007). A probable reason for such a strict limit is the concern of mercury bioaccumulation in fish tissue and ultimately in humans (USEPA 1997).

Oil and grease limits were not incorporated for drinking water because the limits are listed separately for specific polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has subdivided the oil and grease category into specific components, each with its own maximum contaminant level (MCL), which represents the highest level of contaminant permissible for drinking water (USEPA 2003). Most notable is benzo(a)pyrene because it is a known carcinogen in addition to causing other adverse effects on human health even with short-term exposure at relatively low doses (USEPA 2002). The maximum contaminant level goal (MCLG) for benzo(a)pyrene is set at zero by the USEPA (2003). However, the MCL is 0.2 μg/L for drinking water (USEPA 2003). In comparison, four other references reported 0.01 μg/L as a concentration limit for benzo(a)pyrene in drinking water (CIDWI 2006; EC 1998; NHMRC and NRMMC 2004; SAEPA 1999-adapted from ANZECC 1992). The WHO (2004) drinking water guideline for benzo(a)pyrene is 0.7 μg/L, which is the least stringent value reported among references used for this study.

Guideline concentrations of TDS are greater than those of other constituents, particularly for irrigation and livestock watering. TDS guidelines are an order of magnitude higher for irrigation and livestock watering than for drinking water.

The species and age of the receiving organism influence its tolerance for TDS. TDS guideline concentrations for livestock range from 3,000 to 15,000 mg/L depending on the specific type of livestock (ANZECC and ARMCANZ 2000; CCME 2005 SAEPA 1999-adapted from ANZECC 1992). Tolerance of TDS varies among the crops, ranging from 500 mg/L for carrots to 3,500 mg/L for wheat (CCME 2005).

Several guideline parameters are pH dependent, such as concentration limits for aluminum and zinc. Aluminum guideline concentrations for aquaculture are based on pH of the water, while zinc guideline concentrations in water used for irrigation depend on soil pH. Although other parameters listed in Table 1 do not indicate pH dependence, they may be impacted by pH to some degree. For example, concentrations of many metals in solution are pH-dependent (Brookins 1988).

Water quantity required for crop production

Data compilation for selected crops and countries

For representation of different geographic regions and climatic conditions, 15 countries from around the world were selected for investigation: Australia, Brazil, Chad, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkey, and the United States of America. The following crops were selected based on global production data or for their importance as a food source in impoverished, rural communities: rice (paddy), maize, soybean, wheat, sweet potatoes, potatoes, tomatoes, watermelons, lettuce, onion, sorghum, and millet (FAO 2005). Cassava was selected because it is the third largest source of carbohydrates for human consumption in the world, particularly prominent in Africa (Cleaver et al. 2008). Seed cotton was selected because of the importance of cotton as a textile fiber, accounting for approximately 35% of the total world fiber use (USDA 2011), and cotton is one of the most widely grown agricultural crops (Watkins and Sul 2002). Only crops with crop yield data available (from Chapagain and Hoekstra 2004) for more than half of the selected countries were used for the analysis. Average crop yields (hg/ha) by country for the 16 selected crops are listed in Table 3, and crop water requirements in Table 4.
Table 3

Average crop yield (hg/ha) by country (1997–2001) from Chapagain and Hoekstra (2004)

Table 4

Crop water requirement (mm/crop period) for selected countries (from Chapagain and Hoekstra 2004)

Country

Barley

Cassava

Lettuce

Maize

Millet

Onions, dry

Potatoes

Rice (paddy)

Australia

282

Nr

486

378

249

944

463

898

Brazil

278

525

Nr

337

Nr

653

398

900

Chad

Nr

1,016

Nr

562

413

1,014

641

1,385

China

251

552

329

383

334

505

394

830

Egypt

518

Nr

209

771

Nr

670

707

1,387

India

380

696

170

354

264

574

378

852

Indonesia

Nr

570

Nr

348

Nr

661

410

932

Italy

652

Nr

348

506

Nr

673

506

1,019

Japan

242

Nr

282

367

310

451

355

791

Mexico

440

770

241

427

321

676

453

954

Russia

389

Nr

Nr

297

270

324

342

725

Saudi Arabia

805

Nr

Nr

1,234

1,027

1,035

1,082

Nr

Sudan

Nr

1,131

Nr

618

461

1,212

791

1,495

Turkey

299

Nr

422

630

546

699

624

1,137

USA

224

Nr

319

411

361

505

424

863

Country

Seed cotton

Sorghum (grain)

Soybean

Sugarcane

Sweet potatoes

Tomatoes

Watermelons

Wheat

Australia

683

301

406

1,297

625

440

521

309

Brazil

571

279

261

1,065

420

353

388

280

Chad

882

497

Nr

1,776

532

Nr

Nr

569

China

448

298

451

798

455

424

303

266

Egypt

725

509

754

1,634

860

550

550

570

India

529

320

419

1,101

245

488

471

438

Indonesia

570

Nr

246

1,092

391

398

Nr

Nr

Italy

Nr

353

549

Nr

551

548

370

762

Japan

Nr

Nr

412

795

415

407

265

263

Mexico

635

383

499

1,272

331

504

506

496

Russia

Nr

232

350

Nr

Nr

368

255

401

Saudi Arabia

Nr

755

Nr

Nr

Nr

822

844

890

Sudan

968

553

Nr

1,998

612

847

873

639

Turkey

722

Nr

717

Nr

Nr

683

473

319

USA

471

321

483

1,023

486

451

327

237

Nr not reported

Water volume requirements and crop yields

The water volume required to grow one hectare of crop for the 16 selected crops ranges from 1,700 m3 (lettuce in India) to 19,980 m3 (sugarcane in Sudan) (Table 5).
Table 5

Water volume (m3) required to grow one hectare of crop per crop period

Country

Barley

Cassava

Lettuce

Maize

Millet

Onions, dry

Potatoes

Rice (paddy)

Australia

2,820

Na

4,860

3,780

2,490

9,440

4,630

8,980

Brazil

2,780

5,250

Na

3,370

Na

6,530

3,980

9,000

Chad

Na

10,160

Na

5,620

4,130

10,140

6,410

13,850

China

2,510

5,520

3,290

3,830

3,340

5,050

3,940

8,300

Egypt

5,180

Na

2,090

7,710

Na

6,700

7,070

13,870

India

3,800

6,960

1,700

3,540

2,640

5,740

3,780

8,520

Indonesia

Na

5,700

Na

3,480

Na

6,610

4,100

9,320

Italy

6,520

Na

3,480

5,060

Na

6,730

5,060

10,190

Japan

2,420

Na

2,820

3,670

3,100

4,510

3,550

7,910

Mexico

4,400

7,700

2,410

4,270

3,210

6,760

4,530

9,540

Russia

3,890

Na

Na

2,970

2,700

3,240

3,420

7,250

Saudi Arabia

8,050

Na

Na

12,340

10,270

10,350

10,820

Na

Sudan

Na

11,310

Na

6,180

4,610

12,120

7,910

14,950

Turkey

2,990

Na

4,220

6,300

5,460

6,990

6,240

11,370

USA

2,240

Na

3,190

4,110

3,610

5,050

4,240

8,630

Country

Seed cotton

Sorghum (grain)

Soybean

Sugarcane

Sweet potatoes

Tomatoes

Watermelons

Wheat

Australia

6,830

3,010

4,060

12,970

6,250

4,400

5,210

3,090

Brazil

5,710

2,790

2,610

10,650

4,200

3,530

3,880

2,800

Chad

8,820

4,970

Na

17,760

5,320

Na

Na

5,690

China

4,480

2,980

4,510

7,980

4,550

4,240

3,030

2,660

Egypt

7,250

5,090

7,540

16,340

8,600

5,500

5,500

5,700

India

5,290

3,200

4,190

11,010

2,450

4,880

4,710

4,380

Indonesia

5,700

Na

2,460

10,920

3,910

3,980

Na

Na

Italy

Na

3,530

5,490

Na

5,510

5,480

3,700

7,620

Japan

Na

Na

4,120

7,950

4,150

4,070

2,650

2,630

Mexico

6,350

3,830

4,990

12,720

3,310

5,040

5,060

4,960

Russia

Na

2,320

3,500

Na

Na

3,680

2,550

4,010

Saudi Arabia

Na

7,550

Na

Na

Na

8,220

8,440

8,900

Sudan

9,680

5,530

Na

19,980

6,120

8,470

8,730

6,390

Turkey

7,220

Na

7,170

Na

Na

6,830

4,730

3,190

USA

4,710

3,210

4,830

10,230

4,860

4,510

3,270

2,370

Calculated using equation 2 and values from Table 4

Na not available (crop water requirement not reported by Chapagain and Hoekstra (2004)

The crop yield per 1,000 m3 water volume ranges from 50 kg (millet in Sudan) to 14,330 kg (tomatoes in USA) (Table 6). For each of the 15 countries investigated, the crop that produces the greatest yield in terms of weight per water volume is tomato in Australia, Brazil, Italy, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, USA; sugarcane in Chad, India, Indonesia, Sudan; watermelon in China; lettuce in Egypt, Mexico; and onion (dry) in Russia (Table 6). The range of total water volume required per metric ton of crop produced is 70 m3 (tomatoes in USA) to 20,202 m3 (millet in Sudan) (Table 7). The volume of water required to produce a metric ton of a specific crop varies greatly among the countries. For example, the volume of water required to produce a metric ton of crop is more than an order of magnitude greater for eight of the crops in Sudan compared with the country in which the smallest volume of water is required. The range for daily water volume required per metric ton of crop produced is 0.2 m3 (sugarcane in China and Japan) to 165.6 m3 (millet in Sudan) (Table 8). The approximate land area required per metric ton of crop ranges from 0.01 ha (sugarcane for Australia, Brazil, Chad, China, Egypt, India, Mexico, Sudan, and USA) to 4.38 ha (millet in Sudan) (Table 9). In terms of land requirement among the 15 countries, sugarcane requires the least amount while millet requires the most.
Table 6

Crop yield (kg) per 1000 m3 (264,172 gal) water volume during crop growth period (i.e. total water volume over duration of crop growth)

Country

Barley

Cassava

Lettuce

Maize

Millet

Onions, dry

Potatoes

Rice (paddy)

Australia

702

Na

5,103

1,345

513

4,575

6,647

979

Brazil

728

2,498

Na

847

Na

2,261

4,156

324

Chad

Na

838

Na

155

101

1,972

1,039

96

China

1,179

2,896

6,604

1,248

537

4,087

3,619

757

Egypt

453

Na

12,875

970

Na

3,871

3,251

639

India

509

3,538

3,872

516

306

1,859

4,704

351

Indonesia

Na

2,176

Na

778

Na

1,312

3,634

465

Italy

549

Na

5,399

1,887

Na

4,390

4,786

596

Japan

1,434

Na

8,729

670

323

10,504

8,817

819

Mexico

472

1,601

8,371

573

221

1,815

4,919

458

Russia

424

Na

Na

716

346

3,529

3,038

417

Saudi Arabia

615

Na

Na

140

133

2,172

2,095

Na

Sudan

Na

157

Na

108

50

585

926

67

Turkey

735

Na

4,334

653

314

3,072

4,119

486

USA

1,425

Na

11,473

2,046

467

9,241

9,450

784

Country

Seed cotton

Sorghum (grain)

Soybean

Sugarcane

Sweet potatoes

Tomatoes

Watermelons

Wheat

Australia

530

925

475

7,098

2,743

10,672

3,489

630

Brazil

360

622

930

6,450

2,551

13,771

2,039

619

Chad

70

130

Na

4,974

483

Na

Na

330

China

705

1,159

382

8,583

4,342

5,941

10,214

1,449

Egypt

330

1,100

355

7,144

2,896

6,187

4,732

1,075

India

121

247

243

6,273

3,616

3,315

2,759

605

Indonesia

225

Na

493

6,099

2,444

2,947

Na

Na

Italy

Na

1,718

664

Na

2,657

9,456

9,174

413

Japan

Na

Na

430

8,366

5,870

14,152

12,760

1,363

Mexico

470

825

315

5,834

5,911

5,461

4,236

939

Russia

Na

420

254

Na

Na

3,306

1,330

421

Saudi Arabia

Na

167

Na

Na

Na

2,602

2,156

503

Sudan

120

110

Na

3,896

2,194

1,406

3,284

323

Turkey

431

Na

373

Na

Na

5,882

5,869

653

USA

395

1,279

535

7,694

3,495

14,330

7,918

1,178

Calculated using equation 3 and values from Tables 3 and 5

Na not available

Table 7

Total water volume (m3) required per metric ton of crop production

Country

Barley

Cassava

Lettuce

Maize

Millet

Onions, dry

Potatoes

Rice (paddy)

Australia

1,425

Na

196

744

1,951

219

150

1,022

Brazil

1,373

400

Na

1,180

Na

442

241

3,082

Chad

Na

1,193

Na

6,472

9,880

507

962

10,436

China

848

345

151

801

1,863

245

276

1,321

Egypt

2,208

Na

78

1,031

Na

258

308

1,565

India

1,966

283

258

1,937

3,269

538

213

2,850

Indonesia

Na

460

Na

1,285

Na

762

275

2,150

Italy

1,822

Na

185

530

Na

228

209

1,679

Japan

697

Na

115

1,493

3,100

95

113

1,221

Mexico

2,120

625

119

1,744

4,535

551

203

2,182

Russia

2,359

Na

Na

1,397

2,892

283

329

2,401

Saudi Arabia

1,625

Na

Na

7,152

7,496

460

477

Na

Sudan

Na

6,356

Na

9,289

20,202

1,710

1,080

15,022

Turkey

1,360

Na

231

1,531

3,181

326

243

2,059

USA

702

Na

87

489

2,143

108

106

1,275

Country

Seed cotton

Sorghum (grain)

Soybean

Sugarcane

Sweet potatoes

Tomatoes

Watermelons

Wheat

Australia

1,887

1,081

2,106

141

365

94

287

1,588

Brazil

2,777

1,609

1,076

155

392

73

490

1,616

Chad

14,286

7,665

Na

201

2,072

Na

Na

3,032

China

1,419

863

2,617

117

230

168

98

690

Egypt

3,028

909

2,815

140

345

162

211

930

India

8,264

4,053

4,124

159

277

302

362

1,654

Indonesia

4,453

Na

2,030

164

409

339

Na

Na

Italy

Na

582

1,506

Na

376

106

109

2,421

Japan

Na

Na

2,326

120

170

71

78

734

Mexico

2,127

1,212

3,177

171

169

183

236

1,066

Russia

Na

2,382

3,933

Na

Na

302

752

2,375

Saudi Arabia

Na

5,988

Na

Na

Na

384

464

1,989

Sudan

8,315

9,070

Na

257

456

711

305

3,101

Turkey

2,320

Na

2,681

Na

Na

170

170

1,531

USA

2,535

782

1,869

130

286

70

126

849

Calculated using equation 4 and values from Table 6

Na not available

Table 8

Approximate average daily water volume (m3) required per metric ton of crop production

Country

Barley

Cassava

Lettuce

Maize

Millet

Onions, dry

Potatoes

Rice (paddy)

DPG

160

286

107

152

122

180

140

165

Australia

8.9

Na

1.8

4.9

16.0

1.2

1.1

6.2

Brazil

8.6

1.4

Na

7.8

Na

2.5

1.7

18.7

Chad

Na

4.2

Na

42.6

81.0

2.8

6.9

63.3

China

5.3

1.2

1.4

5.3

15.3

1.4

2.0

8.0

Egypt

13.8

Na

0.7

6.8

Na

1.4

2.2

9.5

India

12.3

1.0

2.4

12.7

26.8

3.0

1.5

17.3

Indonesia

Na

1.6

Na

8.5

Na

4.2

2.0

13.0

Italy

11.4

Na

1.7

3.5

Na

1.3

1.5

10.2

Japan

4.4

Na

1.1

9.8

25.4

0.5

0.8

7.4

Mexico

13.3

2.2

1.1

11.5

37.2

3.1

1.5

13.2

Russia

14.7

Na

Na

9.2

23.7

1.6

2.4

14.5

Saudi Arabia

10.2

Na

Na

47.1

61.4

2.6

3.4

Na

Sudan

Na

22.3

Na

61.1

165.6

9.5

7.7

91.0

Turkey

8.5

Na

2.2

10.1

26.1

1.8

1.7

12.5

USA

4.4

Na

0.8

3.2

17.6

0.6

0.8

7.7

Country

Seed cotton

Sorghum (grain)

Soybean

Sugarcane

Sweet potatoes

Tomatoes

Watermelons

Wheat

DPG

202

135

118

500

137

157

95

160

Australia

9.3

8.0

17.8

0.3

2.7

0.6

3.0

9.9

Brazil

13.7

11.9

9.1

0.3

2.9

0.5

5.2

10.1

Chad

70.7

56.8

Na

0.4

15.1

Na

Na

18.9

China

7.0

6.4

22.2

0.2

1.7

1.1

1.0

4.3

Egypt

15.0

6.7

23.9

0.3

2.5

1.0

2.2

5.8

India

40.9

30.0

34.9

0.3

2.0

1.9

3.8

10.3

Indonesia

22.0

Na

17.2

0.3

3.0

2.2

Na

Na

Italy

Na

4.3

12.8

Na

2.7

0.7

1.1

15.1

Japan

Na

Na

19.7

0.2

1.2

0.5

0.8

4.6

Mexico

10.5

9.0

26.9

0.3

1.2

1.2

2.5

6.7

Russia

Na

17.6

33.3

Na

Na

1.9

7.9

14.8

Saudi Arabia

Na

44.4

Na

Na

Na

2.4

4.9

12.4

Sudan

41.2

67.2

Na

0.5

3.3

4.5

3.2

19.4

Turkey

11.5

Na

22.7

Na

Na

1.1

1.8

9.6

USA

12.5

5.8

15.8

0.3

2.1

0.4

1.3

5.3

Calculated using equation 5 and values from Table 7. DPG equals approximate duration of growth period (days). Water requirement varies with local conditions

Na not available

Table 9

Approximate land area (ha) required per metric ton of crop production

Country

Barley

Cassava

Lettuce

Maize

Millet

Onions, dry

Potatoes

Rice (paddy)

Australia

0.51

Na

0.04

0.20

0.78

0.02

0.03

0.11

Brazil

0.49

0.08

Na

0.35

Na

0.07

0.06

0.34

Chad

Na

0.12

Na

1.15

2.39

0.05

0.15

0.75

China

0.34

0.06

0.05

0.21

0.56

0.05

0.07

0.16

Egypt

0.43

Na

0.04

0.13

Na

0.04

0.04

0.11

India

0.52

0.04

0.15

0.55

1.24

0.09

0.06

0.33

Indonesia

Na

0.08

Na

0.37

Na

0.12

0.07

0.23

Italy

0.28

Na

0.05

0.10

Na

0.03

0.04

0.16

Japan

0.29

Na

0.04

0.41

1.00

0.02

0.03

0.15

Mexico

0.48

0.08

0.05

0.41

1.41

0.08

0.04

0.23

Russia

0.61

Na

Na

0.47

1.07

0.09

0.10

0.33

Saudi Arabia

0.20

Na

Na

0.58

0.73

0.04

0.04

Na

Sudan

Na

0.56

Na

1.50

4.38

0.14

0.14

1.00

Turkey

0.45

Na

0.05

0.24

0.58

0.05

0.04

0.18

USA

0.31

Na

0.03

0.12

0.59

0.02

0.02

0.15

Country

Seed cotton

Sorghum (grain)

Soybean

Sugarcane

Sweet potatoes

Tomatoes

Watermelons

Wheat

Australia

0.28

0.36

0.52

0.01

0.06

0.02

0.06

0.51

Brazil

0.49

0.58

0.41

0.01

0.09

0.02

0.13

0.58

Chad

1.62

1.54

Na

0.01

0.39

Na

Na

0.53

China

0.32

0.29

0.58

0.01

0.05

0.04

0.03

0.26

Egypt

0.42

0.18

0.37

0.01

0.04

0.03

0.04

0.16

India

1.56

1.27

0.98

0.01

0.11

0.06

0.08

0.38

Indonesia

0.78

Na

0.83

0.02

0.10

0.09

Na

Na

Italy

Na

0.16

0.27

Na

0.07

0.02

0.03

0.32

Japan

Na

Na

0.56

0.02

0.04

0.02

0.03

0.28

Mexico

0.34

0.32

0.64

0.01

0.05

0.04

0.05

0.21

Russia

Na

1.03

1.12

Na

Na

0.08

0.29

0.59

Saudi Arabia

Na

0.79

Na

Na

Na

0.05

0.05

0.22

Sudan

0.86

1.64

Na

0.01

0.07

0.08

0.03

0.48

Turkey

0.32

Na

0.37

Na

Na

0.02

0.04

0.48

USA

0.54

0.24

0.39

0.01

0.06

0.02

0.04

0.36

Calculated using equation 6 and crop yield data in Table 3. Land requirement varies with local conditions

Na not available

Discussion

Water quality and reuse decisions

A benefit of compiling water reuse guidelines in a single database is that multiple guidelines are incorporated from different sources to provide specific values that can be used to assist in water reuse decisions. There are several applications to decision-making using the guideline values: to help identify COCs, determine the levels to which the constituents need to be treated for water reuse, and evaluate the water reuse applications following the treatment. Minimum acceptable concentrations can be established for the treated water based on a specific reuse (de Koning et al. 2008). Post-treatment concentrations can be compared to the guideline concentrations, which indicate whether the treated water can be reused and the potential uses of the renovated water.

The guideline values can be used with or without a specific, predefined reuse purpose. The concentration comparison can help to identify an option for water reuse (i.e. irrigate crops, raise livestock, rear fish, or use as drinking water). As an example of using the guideline values for identifying the reuse options, pre-treatment and post-treatment water quality data for a specific produced water were compared with the guideline values to identify COCs and to determine the possible water reuse options (Table 10). The comparison indicated that Cd, Cu, Zn, and Pb concentrations in the influent (pre-treatment water) exceeded guideline concentrations for all four of the water reuse purposes with the exception of Zn for livestock and Cu for drinking. Therefore, Cd, Cu, Zn, and Pb were identified as COCs. Based on the comparison with guideline concentrations (Table 10), post-treatment concentrations of the COCs indicated that the treated water could be used for watering livestock, but not for aquaculture. In addition, the treated water can potentially be used for irrigation, with Cd still being a concern. Since some crops are more tolerant to metals than other crops, the decision to use the treated water is case-specific. The treated water can potentially be used as a drinking water; however, there is a concern due to the elevated concentrations of Cd and Pb. From a decision-making standpoint, further treatment would be necessary to lower the concentrations of Cd and Pb if the water were to be used for irrigating crops or drinking water.
Table 10

Example of applying water use guidelines (Table 2) to decision analysis for potential water use purposes

Constituent

Concentration

Irrigation

Water use purpose

Drinking

Livestock

Aquaculture

Pre-Treatment

 Cadmium

0.312

No

No

No

No

 Copper

0.703

No

No

No

Yes

 Lead

0.744

No

No

No

No

 Zinc

5.180

No

Yes

No

No

Post-Treatment

 Cadmium

0.008

No

Yes

No

No

 Copper

<0.010a

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

 Lead

<0.015b

Yes

Yes

No

No

 Zinc

0.367

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Pre-treatment and post-treatment natural gas storage produced waters (NGSPW) are compared

Yes meets criteria for use (i.e. below guideline concentration)

No does not meet criteria for use (i.e. exceeds guideline concentration)

Concentrations (mg/L) are for NGSPW simulated to represent actual produced waters (freshwaters) in a study of a pilot-scale constructed wetland treatment system (Johnson et al. 2008)

aMeasured concentration below detection limit (0.010 mg/L)

bMeasured concentration below detection limit (0.015 mg/L)

Another application of the guideline compilation is for decisions regarding the treatment for a specific reuse. For instance, a farmer wanting to use treated water to irrigate crops can identify COCs and set target concentrations for the post-treatment water using the guideline concentrations for irrigation. Design and construction of the treatment system can then be based on achieving those target concentrations. Following the treatment, concentrations of COCs can be compared to guideline values to determine if the water can be used for the intended purpose.

In the decision-making process, guidelines for water use developed by one country may not be suitable for another due to the limitations such as technology and economic status (Asano et al. 2007). Without compromising the safety of organisms within the receiving system, guideline values may require adjustment based on case-specific treatment goals and the available technology. Many countries have adopted and/or modified water quality guidelines outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO). Recently, the WHO has made modifications to their proposed guidelines for the reuse of water in agriculture based on the findings from epidemiological studies and quantitative microbial risk assessments (Brissaud 2008). To determine water quality guidelines, the WHO takes into account the cost of water treatment prior to reuse as well as health risks (Asano et al. 2007). Both cost and health risks largely determine the potential beneficial use of the treated water. Because of these factors, the guideline values from the WHO may be less stringent than values from other sources.

Water quantity for reuse

The following were calculated from crop water requirement (CWR) and average crop yield as explained in the Methods: (1) water volume required to grow one hectare of crop; (2) crop yield per 1000 m3 water; (3) total water volume required per metric ton of crop produced; (4) daily water volume required per metric ton of crop produced; and (5) land area required per metric ton of crop. CWR varies by climate and is independent of soil characteristics. Average crop yield depends upon the factors such as farming practices, use of pesticides, fertilizers, and soil conditions. These factors differ among countries and may be related to infrastructure, technological development, and economic stability. Most average crop yields are greater in developed countries than in less developed countries, which results in greater total water volume (m3) required per metric ton of crop production in the less developed countries. Qadir et al. (2007) noted that the average volume of water needed to grow cereal crops in developed countries is less than that required in developing countries. Two (Chad and Sudan) of the 15 countries studied are among the least developed countries (LDCs) according to the United Nations (UN 2011). As an example from the results of our study, CWR for wheat in Egypt is approximately equal to that in Chad (Table 4), whereas average crop yield for wheat is 61,271 hg/ha in Egypt and only 18,767 hg/ha in Chad (Table 3). The difference in average crop yield results in a much greater calculated volume of water required per metric ton of wheat produced in Chad (3,032 m3) than in Egypt (930 m3) (Table 7).

Based on calculated crop yield per 1,000 m3 water volume required (Table 6), crops are recommended for the most effective utilization of water for each of the 15 countries examined (Table 11). Recommended crops included cassava, lettuce, maize, onions (dry), potatoes, sugarcane, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and watermelons. Potatoes and tomatoes are the most commonly recommended crops (Table 11) because they require the least amount of water to grow based on our analysis.
Table 11

Recommended crops based on crop yield per 1,000 m3 (264,172 gal) water volume during one crop growth period

Country

Recommended crops

Australia

Tomatoes, sugarcane, potatoes, lettuce, onions (dry)

Brazil

Tomatoes, sugarcane, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava

Chad

Sugarcane, onions (dry), potatoes, cassava, sweet potatoes

China

Watermelons, sugarcane, lettuce, tomatoes, sweet potatoes

Egypt

Lettuce, sugarcane, tomatoes, watermelons, onions (dry)

India

Sugarcane, potatoes, lettuce, sweet potatoes, cassava

Indonesia

Sugarcane, potatoes, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava

Italy

Tomatoes, watermelons, lettuce, potatoes, onions (dry)

Japan

Tomatoes, watermelons, onions (dry), potatoes, lettuce

Mexico

Lettuce, sweet potatoes, sugarcane, tomatoes, potatoes

Russia

Onions (dry), tomatoes, potatoes, watermelons, maize

Saudi Arabia

Tomatoes, onions (dry), watermelons, potatoes, barley

Sudan

Sugarcane, watermelons, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, potatoes

Turkey

Tomatoes, watermelons, lettuce, potatoes, onions (dry)

USA

Tomatoes, lettuce, potatoes, onions (dry), watermelons

Crops listed starting from crop having greatest yield per 1,000 m3 water volume

As an example of application to a specific country, calculated estimates of land and water requirements for growing specific crops in the United States are listed in Table 12. Using the calculation approach followed in this study, the land area needed and the water volume required to grow specific crops in other countries can be estimated, and a table similar to Table 12 generated for the use in decisions regarding crop selection and water use. Local conditions (weather, soil, etc.) and agricultural practices (fertilizers, pesticides, mechanization, etc.) influence crop yield (Tolk et al. 1997) and should be considered in decision analysis. Other local variations that can affect crop yield include water losses, such as infiltration and runoff (Tolk and Howell 2008).
Table 12

Approximate water volumes and approximate land area required for growing one metric ton of selected crops in United States of America (USA)

Crop

Duration of crop growing period (days)a

Total calculated water volume required (m3)

Daily water volume required during crop growing period (m3/day) (gal/day)b

Land area required (ha)b

Barley

160

702

4.4

1,162

0.31

Lettuce

107

87

0.8

211

0.03

Maize

152

489

3.2

845

0.12

Millet

122

2,143

17.6

4,649

0.59

Onions, dry

180

108

0.6

159

0.02

Potatoes

140

106

0.8

211

0.02

Rice (paddy)

165

1,275

7.7

2,034

0.15

Seed cotton

202

2,535

12.5

3,302

0.54

Sorghum (grain)

135

782

5.8

1,532

0.24

Soybean

118

1,869

15.8

4,174

0.39

Sugarcane

500

130

0.3

79

0.01

Sweet potatoes

137

286

2.1

555

0.06

Tomatoes

157

70

0.4

106

0.02

Watermelons

95

126

1.3

343

0.04

Wheat

160

849

5.3

1,400

0.36

Values obtained from Tables 7, 8, 9

aApproximate total time of growth includes all growth stages; can vary widely due to local conditions. After Allen et al. (1998)

bDepends on local conditions

Conclusions

Water quality guidelines were compiled for application to decision analysis based on water characteristics and reuse in irrigation, livestock, aquaculture, and drinking. The results can be used as a screening tool for water reuse. Specific applications to decision analysis include identifying COCs, determining target concentration levels for the COCs, and assessing suitability of treated water for reuse.

An approach to assessing water quantity for decision analysis was investigated for application of water reuse, and calculations for selected crops and countries were made to illustrate this approach. The quantity of water needed for crop production was calculated to give an estimate of the potential yield from reusing treated water for irrigation. The approach developed can assist in crop planning based on water availability, as illustrated by calculations leading to recommended crops for several countries.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

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Authors and Affiliations

  • Minh Phung T. Pham
    • 1
  • James W. Castle
    • 1
    Email author
  • John H. RodgersJr.
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Engineering and Earth SciencesClemson UniversityClemsonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Forestry and Natural ResourcesClemson UniversityClemsonUSA

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