Integrated Evaluation of Wastewater Irrigation for Sustainable Agriculture and Groundwater Development

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    Project Manager :
    Stephan Hülsmann

    Many agricultural landscapes in South Asia are irrigated with wastewater, and it is a common practice particularly in urban and peri-urban areas. Farmers around urban agglomerations continuously depend on the wastewater released from nearby urban centres. While providing opportunities with respect to water and nutrient supply, irrigating with wastewater has adverse environmental impacts, particularly on the local aquifer systems. Therefore, addressing the wastewater irrigation influence on local aquifer systems is crucial for sustainable groundwater management. This project intends to demonstrate the variations in hydrochemical quality of groundwater and its evolution processes in different agricultural and geological settings. The study primarily aims at understanding the aquifer heterogeneity, groundwater dynamics and contaminant fate, and transport in the long-term wastewater irrigation systems. The selected study area is located on the banks of Musi River in the peri-urban catchment of Musi basin in India. Statistical techniques and modelling tools will be employed to identify and quantify the linkages between contaminants, agricultural use, and environmental variables, particularly those characterizing groundwater quality. By identifying efficient scenarios for wastewater irrigation management, the project results will support sustainable agriculture and groundwater development.