Irrigation and Drainage Systems

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 117–128 | Cite as

Limitations of Irrigation Water Quality Guidelines from a Multiple Use Perspective

  • Peter K. Jensen
  • Yutaka Matsuno
  • Wim van der Hoek
  • Sandy Cairncross


The standards for irrigation water qualityare currently provided by global andnational guidelines that are mostly basedon the assumption that threshold valuescould be applied to protect crops. Thisapproach can create problems for a largelyunrecognized group of people who make useof irrigation water for non-agriculturalpurposes. At the same time, increasingwater scarcity will lead to the need forrecycling of water in irrigated riverbasins, and the use of low qualityirrigation water. Apart from hazards ofhigh pollutant levels, a sustainabilitycriterion has to be included in the waterquality guidelines to account for long-termlow-level application of certain pollutantsthat can accumulate in the environment.Using the example of cadmium, it is arguedthat the current guidelines need to berevised and should take local factors andfuture developments into account.

water quality guidelines multiple use cadmium 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter K. Jensen
    • 1
  • Yutaka Matsuno
    • 2
  • Wim van der Hoek
    • 2
  • Sandy Cairncross
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Environmental HygieneRoyal Veterinary and Agricultural UniversityFrederiksbergDenmark
  2. 2.International Water Management InstituteColomboSri Lanka
  3. 3.London School of Hygiene & Tropical MedicineDisease Control & Vector Biology UnitLondonU.K

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