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Investigating the effects of irrigation with indirectly recharged groundwater using recycled water on soil and crops in semi-arid areas

Verma, K and Manisha, M and Shivali, NU and Santrupt, RM and Anirudha, TP and Ramesh, N and Chanakya, HN and Parama, VRR and Mohan Kumar, MS and Rao, L (2023) Investigating the effects of irrigation with indirectly recharged groundwater using recycled water on soil and crops in semi-arid areas. In: Environmental Pollution, 337 .

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The utilization of direct wastewater for irrigation poses many environmental problems such as soil quality deterioration due to the accumulation of salts, heavy metals, micro-pollutants, and health risks due to undesirable microorganisms. This hampers its agricultural reuse in arid and semi-arid regions. To address these concerns, the present study introduces a recent approach that involves using indirectly recharged groundwater (GW) with secondary treated municipal wastewater (STW) for irrigation through a Soil Aquifer Treatment-based system (SAT). This method aims to mitigate freshwater scarcity in semi-arid regions. The study assessed GW levels, physicochemical properties, and microbial diversity of GW, and soil in both impacted (receiving recycled water) and non-impacted (not receiving recycled water) areas, before recycling (2015–2018) and after recycling (2019–2022) period of the project. The results indicated a significant increase of 68–70% in GW levels of the studied boreholes in the impacted areas. Additionally, the quality of indirectly recharged GW in the impacted areas improved notably in terms of electrical conductivity (EC), hardness, total dissolved solids (TDS), sodium adsorption ratio (SAR), along with certain cations and anions (hard water to soft water). No significant difference was observed in soil properties and microbial diversity of the impacted areas, except for EC and SAR, which were reduced by 50% and 39%, respectively, after the project commenced. The study also monitored specific microbial species, including total coliforms, Escherichia coli (as indicator organisms), Shigella, and Klebsiella in some of the harvested crops (beetroot, tomato, and spinach). However, none of the analysed crops exhibited the presence of the studied microorganisms. Overall, the study concludes that indirectly recharged GW using STW is a better sustainable and safe irrigation alternative compared to direct wastewater use or extracted hard GW from deep aquifers. © 2023 Elsevier Ltd

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Environmental Pollution
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to the Elsevier Ltd.
Keywords: Aquifers; Arid regions; Crops; Deterioration; Escherichia coli; Groundwater pollution; Groundwater resources; Hardness; Health risks; Heavy metals; Physicochemical properties; Soils; Wastewater reclamation; Wastewater treatment; Water conservation; Water quality; Water recycling, Crop health; Electrical conductivity; Ground water level; Ground water recharge; Indirect groundwater recharge; Irrigation with recycled water; Microbial diversity; Municipal wastewaters; Recycled water; Soil aquifer treatments, Irrigation, aquifer; crop plant; freshwater; groundwater; irrigation; pathogen; recharge; semiarid region; wastewater
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Sustainable Technologies (formerly ASTRA)
Division of Mechanical Sciences > Civil Engineering
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2023 05:04
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2023 05:04
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/83303

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