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Socio-economic impact assessment of large-scale recycling of treated municipal wastewater for indirect groundwater recharge

Manisha, M and Verma, K and Ramesh, N and Anirudha, TP and Santrupt, RM and Das, R and Mohan Kumar, MS and Chanakya, HN and Rao, L (2023) Socio-economic impact assessment of large-scale recycling of treated municipal wastewater for indirect groundwater recharge. In: Science of the Total Environment, 859 .

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.160207


Reusing treated wastewater is an emerging solution to address freshwater scarcity, and surface water contamination faced worldwide. A unique large-scale wastewater recycling project was implemented to replenish groundwater by filling secondary treated wastewater (STW) into existing irrigation tanks in severely drought-hit areas of the Kolar districts of Southern India. This study quantifies the socio-economic impacts of this large-scale indirect groundwater recharge scheme. The changes in areas receiving STW i.e., impacted areas and those areas which did not receive STW i.e., non-impacted areas was studied. Also, pre and post recycling changes were quantified in the Kolar district. The results show that surface water quality meets India's most stringent treated wastewater discharge standards prescribed by the Hon'ble National Green Tribunal. Due to these recycling efforts, significant improvements in groundwater level and quality were found. It was observed that there was a noticeable difference in agricultural cropping areas, seasons, patterns, and production between impacted and non-impacted areas. Post-recycling, farmers tended to cultivate cash and water-intensive crops over less water-intensive crops. During the post-recycling period, livestock and milk production also increased, and in impacted areas, it was significantly higher. Post-recycling, fish production increased and land prices per hectare increased by 118 in impacted areas. The farmer's net income under flowers and vegetable farming increased by 202 and 150 respectively in impacted areas compared to non-impacted areas. Furthermore, this project contributes to a circular economy transition in the water sector, which has economic, environmental, social, and cultural benefits. A key recommendation from the outcomes of the study is to draft and implement a policy that encourages the reuse of recycled water for groundwater recharge which in turn will improve the agro-economic system and food security. © 2022 Elsevier B.V.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Science of the Total Environment
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to Elsevier B.V.
Keywords: Crops; Economic analysis; Economic and social effects; Food supply; Recharging (underground waters); Surface waters; Wastewater treatment; Water conservation; Water quality; Water recycling, And reuse; Circular economy; Ground water level; Ground water recharge; Large-scales; Reuse; Socio-economics; Sustainable; Treated wastewater; Water scarcity, Wastewater reclamation
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Sustainable Technologies (formerly ASTRA)
Division of Mechanical Sciences > Civil Engineering
Date Deposited: 28 Dec 2022 06:27
Last Modified: 28 Dec 2022 06:27
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/78601

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