Reusing Treated Waste-Water from a Circular Economy Perspective. The Case of the Real Acequia de Moncada in Valencia (Spain)
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Author(s)Hagenvoort, Joep; Ortega Reig, Mar Violeta; Botella Grau, María Salud; Fuster García, Carla; de Luis Margarit, Ana; [et al.]
DisciplineCiencias del Mar
One of the most important challenges that agriculture faces is sustainable water management and its adaptation to climate change. This adaptation is more important in regions where recurrent draughts and overexploitation of water resources happen. However, historical irrigation systems, such as the Real Acequia de Moncada (RAM) in Valencia, have found innovative approaches to deal with this phenomenon. This paper analyzes the case of Massamagrell and Puçol, which reused the treated waste-water of the closest waste-water treatment plant (WWTP). The study focused from a circular economy perspective on the technological, agronomical, and social implications of this decision. Results show that there are clear benefits for both farmers and WWTP managers. On the one hand, additional nutrients and regularity in their water supply benefit farmers. On the other, WWTP managers can reuse the treated effluent in the system, contributing to the closure of the water cycle and avoiding pumping the treated water into the sea. However, more detailed information and coordination is needed among the different stakeholders. Questions regarding the illegal connection of waste pipes with the traditional irrigation or the payment of pumping costs for reuse have gone unanswered, and there is a need for better reflection from all stakeholders.