Reuse of wastewater in Spain should be increased

Juan G.R. Reuse of wastewater in Spain should be increased

 Water and Irrigation Vol. 10, No. 1: 7-8, April 12, 2019, Spain.

The greatest reuse of wastewater by river basin in Spain corresponds: 28% to the basin of the Segura river with 85 hm3 / year, 26% to the basin of the Jucar river with 78 hm3 / year and 9% to the Mediterranean basin Andalusian with 27 hm3 / year. Spain has a wastewater treatment capacity of 8130 hm3 / year with a volume of treated water of 4097 hm3, which represents 102 m3 of purified wastewater per inhabitant / year. To achieve greater use of wastewater, it is necessary to reduce the content of total salts that are purified in many basins, in order to further improve the quality of the purified wastewater that is used for different uses. With global warming and climate change the demand for water increases in agriculture, population, industry and tourism, so we must prepare more efficiently in the reuse of wastewater to meet the challenge that be on the way.

The people of El Paso in Texas, are living in the middle of the Chihuahuan Desert The city gets little contribute with an annual rainfall of 230 mm, the temperature exceeds 100 degrees Fahrenheit- 38ºC around 15 days every year, it is one of the most hot of the country. The main source of water for the population is the Rio Grande, which can normally supply half of the city’s water needs and another is the extraction of groundwater from aquifers, which are highly overexploited. Climate change is making it increasingly difficult and is pushing the city to look for new sources of water. Now, El Paso is on track to become the first major city in the United States to treat its wastewater and send it directly to its taps.

Spain has a purification capacity of wastewater of 8130 hm3 / year with a volume of treated water of 4097 hm3, which represents 102 m3 of purified wastewater per inhabitant / year. The two Spanish communities that most use treated wastewater are; Murcia with 65% and the Valenciana with 45%, according to the National Study of Supply and Sanitation in Spain.

The water reused in Spain is used: agriculture with 41%, gardening and leisure areas with 31%, sewer cleaning and street cleaning 12% and 16% for other uses.

When analyzing the reuse of wastewater by river basin, the greatest uses correspond: 28% to the basin of the Segura river with 85 hm3 / year, 26% to the Jucar river basin with 78 hm3 / year and 9% to the Andalusian Mediterranean basin with 27 hm3 / year. The total reuse of wastewater in Spain is 300 hm3 of which 190 hm3 correspond to the three hydrographic basins mentioned above with 63% of the total and the rest represent the low reuse of wastewater in different hydrographic regions of the country, according to Spanish National Federation of Irrigation Communities of the Ministry of Agriculture.

The regions that most reuse the wastewater are located in deficit basins of the Mediterranean, have a great agricultural and tourist development. They have a great shortage of water.

To achieve greater use of wastewater, it is necessary to reduce the content of total salts that are purified in many basins, in order to further improve the quality of the purified wastewater that is used for different uses. The large tributary basins in Spain of the rivers with the greatest flow, where there are large population centers, agriculture and industry, purify large amounts of wastewater, but use less than 5% of the total treated water as in the Tajo river basins , Guadalquivir and the Ebro river.

With global warming and climate change the demand for water increases in agriculture, population, industry and tourism, so we must prepare more efficiently in the reuse of wastewater to face the challenge that be on the way. The reuse of wastewater is a global problem, in which there are countries that have a great development and others in which wastewater is reused very little.

 

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