Year of wastewater

Year of wastewater

Wastewater is only a waste if we fail to reuse it. WLE scientists have a  remarkable track record in promoting safe wastewater use, recovering nutrients from various waste sources, and analysing business models for safe Resource Recovery and Reuse (RRR). Last year was tagged the "Year of Wastewater," with World Water Day and World Water Week. dedicated to the theme. The solutions are compelling.

Wastewater is pumped into channels for irrigation, in Kanpur, India.

The costs of inaction

Business models for recovering and reusing waste

WLE has produced a number of business models and feasibility studies which look at how best to take advantage of existing markets and opportunities in order to make recycling resources from waste financially and environmentally sustainable, as well as safe.

Business opportunities across the sanitation service chain

Guidelines and assessments

WLE has produced and contributed to a number of important global guidelines and assessments on wastewater reuse in key urban and peri-urban areas.

Quotes from the team

  • Philip Amoah (IWMI)Environmental and human health

    “In support of WHO, we created a significant body of research on how to safeguard human health also where irrigation water is not well treated”

  • Bezaiet Dessalegn (ICARDA)Livelihood and gender specialist

    “Gender based differences in perception, access and effects of using wastewater influences decisions to effectively tap into this invaluable resource”

  • “Wastewater is the only source of additional water which increases in quantity under growing water scarcity and population pressure.”

  • Solomie Gebrezgabher (IWMI)Business Economics and Investment Analysis

    “The economic return of wastewater use could be as high as 10 to 1 if the returns to agriculture and groundwater recharge are accounted for”.

  • Biju A. George (ICARDA)Irrigation & Water Management Specialist

    “Reusing partially treated wastewater for agriculture helps conserve our increasingly scarce fresh water resources and creates new opportunities to support livelihoods”

  • “WLE supported the FAO AQUASTAT wastewater database with a significant amount of data, more than any other collaborating partner.”

  • “There is a need for a paradigm shift towards reusing saline water until it becomes unusable for any economic activity rather than its disposal; and restoring irrigated salt-affected soils rather than their retirement”

Resource recovery in action

In addition to major resource recovery events that are happening in 2017, we highlight some of the work that is being done by the RRR team around the world.

Books on wastewater reuse

Over the year, researchers have published a number of books on the subject of safe wastewater reuse.