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Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) Toolbox

Using treated wastewater in forestry and agroforestry in drylands

Global changes in rainfall frequency and quantity are increasing the impacts of drought in arid and semi-arid regions, and such impacts are projected to increase under climate-change scenarios. In water-scarce environments, the safe use of wastewater can be an option for irrigating certain agricultural and forestry crops, helping to conserve freshwater. The purpose of this module is to provide forest and land managers with information on the safe use of wastewater for irrigation and soil amelioration in forestry and agroforestry systems in dry and degraded lands. The module aims at guiding users in planning reforestation and afforestation in drylands through the use of water produced in constructed wetlands and fertigation plants.

Braatz, S. & Kandiah, A. 2002. Use of municipal waste water for forest and tree irrigation. Rome, FAO. 

Dimitriou, I. & Aronsson, P. 2005. Willows for energy and phytoremediation in Sweden. Unasylva, 221. 

Fernández-Cirelli, A., Arumí, J.L., Rivera, D. & Boochs, P.W. 2009. Environmental effects of irrigation in arid and semi-arid region. Chilean Journal of Agriculture, 69: 27–40.

International Water Management Institute. 2008. Wastewater reuse and recycling systems: a perspective into India and Australia. Working Paper 128.

Hasselgren, K. 1998. Use of municipal waste products in energy forestry: highlights from 15 years of experience. Biomass and Bioenergy, 15(1).

Magen, H. Potential development of fertigation and its effects on fertilizer use. 

Myers, B.J., Theiveyanathan, S., O’Brien, N.D. & Bond, W.J. 1996. Growth and water use of Eucalyptus grandis and Pinus radiata plantations irrigated with effluent. Tree Physiology, 16: 211–219.

Rosenquist, H., Aronsson, P., Hasselgren, K. & Perttu, K. 1997. Economics of using municipal wastewater irrigation of willow coppice crops. Biomass and Bioenergy, 12(1).

Vasudevan, P., Thapliyal, A., Srivastava, R.K., Pandey, A., Dastidar, M.G. & Davies, P. 2010. Fertigation potential of domestic wastewater for tree plantations. Journal of Scientific and Industrial Research, 69. 

USDA National Agroforestry Center. 2000. Wastewater management using hybrid poplar