Towards Sustainable Application of Wastewater in Agriculture: A Review on Reusability and Risk Assessment

Muhammad Mumtaz Khan*, Sajjad Ahmad Siddiqi, Aitazaz A. Farooque, Qumer Iqbal, Shabbir Ahmad Shahid, Muhammad Tahir Akram, Sadik Rahman, Waleed Al-Busaidi, Imran Khan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The use of marginal-quality waters, not limited to brackish/saline and treated sewage effluent (TSE), is called reclaimed water. Reclaimed water is a sustainable source in the future for use in agriculture, essentially required to offset the food demand of a rapidly growing population. Moreover, the sustainable recovery of reclaimed water is essential for humanity to satisfy extreme sanitation and water-supply demands. To increase access to water supply, alternate water resources’ use, existing water resources’ degradation, and improved water-use efficiency are imperative. There is a high potential to address these factors by using reclaimed water as an alternative source. The reclaimed water treated at a tertiary level has the potential for use in crop production, especially for forage crops, irrigating urban landscapes, recreational and environmental activities, industry, and aquifer recharge to increase strategic water reserves in water-scarce countries. This way, we can save precious freshwater that can be utilized for other purposes. Eminently, freshwater applications for industrial and agronomic sectors account for 20% and 67%, respectively, depleting freshwater resources. The use of reclaimed water in agriculture can significantly reduce pressure on freshwater. However, if the quality of reclaimed water does not comply with international standards, it may cause serious health risks (diseases) and soil pollution (heavy metals).

Original languageEnglish
Article number1397
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 10 2022


  • agriculture
  • food security
  • health risks
  • pollution
  • reclaimed water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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