Newsletter and Technical Publications
<International Source Book On Environmentally Sound Technologies
for Wastewater and Stormwater Management>
8.4 Reuse (Topic d)
The reuse of wastewater in
agriculture and aquaculture has much potential and is used in many other
regions. It can replace the use of
limited freshwater for the irrigation of crops or be used as an additional
source to increase production of crops and in the forestry industry.
Aquaculture is becoming popular and may provide additional economic opportunities
in developing countries. Nutrients
found in wastewater discharges, that normally pollute the environment, are
beneficial when used with irrigation and aquaculture applications.
However the reuse of wastewater is
currently not practiced in the Pacific Region.
With many SIDS experiencing limited water resources the reuse of
wastewater would be attractive by conserving water and reducing pollution
potential to marine and surface water resources.
There is potential in Fiji to
use wastewater to irrigate sugarcane and/or for fish farming that has been
recently established there. However
these rural activities are generally remote from urban centres where treated
wastewater is available. SIDS priorities to provide appropriate and affordable
sanitation facilities should explore all possibilities to reuse wastewater
where ever possible.
In many SIDS and in especially in Papua New Guinea there are strong traditional
feelings against the reuse of wastewater. Much talking and convincing would
be required to introduce this concept. The issue of 'most appropriate' technology
needs to be explored and thoroughly discussed with potential users before proceeding
with any new development. Also irrigation is not practice extensively in the
Pacific thus water for irrigation use is not a high priority in most SIDS.
It should be noted in
Kiribati, Nauru and Majuro saltwater is reticulated to households for toilet
flushing to reduce the stress on limited freshwater resources.
However the potential to reuse human waste
mixed with saltwater would be limited to non irrigation usage.