The main goal of DSWAP is to develop modular cost- and energy-efficient wastewater treatment systems specifically designed for wastewater reuse in the context of crops irrigation that safeguard public health, environmental and soil quality and long-term agronomic sustainability.
Objective 1: Optimization and evaluation of energy-efficient secondary treatment modules specifically designed for integration to decentralized wastewater reuse systems. Objective 2: Development and evaluation of novel advanced treatment (tertiary) modules for integration into decentralized wastewater reuse systems for reduction of microbial pathogens, mobile genetic elements (MGEs), antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and contaminants of emerging concern (CECs). Objective 3: Development and evaluation of modules for reduction of effluent salinity to prevent soil salinization, which under certain conditions cause deterioration of soil quality and crop decline overtime. Objective 4: Evaluation of the individual performances of different integrated modular configurations (using the modules described above) that meet the needs and criteria of specific stakeholders based on local infrastructure, geography, influent load, installation and energy costs and maintenance availability. Objective 5: Development and application of decision support tools that integrate and evaluate data generated by a myriad of state-of-the-art diagnostic tools for holistic evaluation of microbial, chemical, phyto-toxicological and ecosystem functioning-associated parameters in effluents and in corresponding irrigated soils.
DSWAP will have a major impact on the enhancement of sustainable wastewater reuse. In essence, it is expected to result in a paradigm shift from conventional wastewater treatment approaches that are specifically designed for effluent discharge to aquatic environments, to systems designed for crop irrigation. These systems will become increasingly imperative in the coming years due to dwindling freshwater resources associated with increasing world population and global climate change.
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