Ashley Murray & Isha Ray
Water Research, 44: 1667 – 1679
Publication year: 2009


The benefits of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) are widely known but its recommendations remain thinly implemented. Designing wastewater treatment plants for reuse in irrigation is a particularly underutilized IWRM opportunity that could potentially increase agricultural yields, conserve surface water, offset chemical fertilizer demand, and reduce the costs of wastewater treatment by eliminating nutrient removal processes. This paper presents a novel planning model, consisting of a reuse-centric performance assessment and optimization model to help design wastewater treatment plants for reuse in agriculture. The performance assessment and optimization model are described, and their coupled application is demonstrated in the peri-urban district of Pixian, China. Based on the results of the performance assessment, two reuse scenarios are evaluated: wastewater to supplement business as usual (BAU) irrigation, and wastewater to replace BAU irrigation. The results indicate that wastewater supplementation could increase profits by $20 million (M) annually; alternatively, wastewater replacement could conserve 35 Mm3 of water in local rivers each year.