Reuse of Urban Wastewater in Environmentally Protected Areas The Case Studies of Messolonghion Lagoon Greece

Ioannis K. Kalavrouziotis and Dimitrios Kalfountzos

Abstract The lagoon of Messolonghion is a fragile ecosystem that is protected as a Nature wetland under the Ramsar Treaty. The need for environmental protection of the wetlands has proven to be necessary because of continued human interference as well as climate changes recorded in recent years. Studies show that the lagoon of Messolonghion is an ecosystem that has been burdened by human activities (pesticides, fertilizers, overexploitation of underground aquifers, intrusion and land use change), and also by climatic changes (temperature, precipitation, sea level). Human activities and climatic changes together adversely affect the hydrodynamic and ecological balance of the entire ecosystem. The Messolonghion lagoon ecosystem is also the recipient of the effluent output of the locally operating Wastewater Processing Plant (WWTP), and has been over-enriched in macro-nutrients N, P, K. The potential of urban wastewater reuse for soil and crop irrigation in the protected area appears to be an environmentally acceptable solution for alleviating the natural water shortage, since it will save significant amounts of irrigation water, as well as it will reduce the adverse effects of the treated effluents discharged into the aquatic ecosystem. A prerequisite for safe reuse of urban wastewater is a series of studies of parameters that have to do with the geotechnical characteristics (geology, hydrology, soil characteristics of the reuse area) and climatic factors (temperature, humidity, sunshine, precipitation). The study of cultivated areas and the soil parameters for each crop will allow us to calculate the water requirements of crops and the final percentage of reuse of effluent water on soils and crops. The implementation of the methodology is important for the countries of the southern Mediterranean, especially in coastal areas, facing environmental problems and threatened by declining of the irrigation water resources due to climate changes.

Department of Environmental and Natural Recourses Management, University of Ioannina, Seferi1, Agrinio, Greece e-mail: [email protected]

D. Kalfountzos

Department of Biosystem Engineering, Technological Educational Institute of Larissa, Periferiaki Odos of Larissa-Trikala, TK 411 10, Larissa, Greece

Keywords Reuse • Urban wastewater • Environment • Protection

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