DDD Conference

Dr. Inbal Zaibel

Reuse of Treated Wastewater for Sustainable Aquaculture: Historical Overview, Current Situation and Future Possibilities

Dead Sea and Arava Science Center, Israel

Although aquaculture has been the fastest-growing food production sector during the last decades, its annual growth rate is simultaneously declining. Freshwater availability is a major limiting factor for production due to competition from more powerful sectors. Effective management of alternative water resources, such as treated wastewater, can reduce the competition and help cope with the increasing water demand. Moreover, reuse of treated wastewater as an alternative water source for aquaculture holds economic and environmental advantages. Reuse of wastewater or treated wastewater for agriculture and aquaculture has been practiced around the world for centuries. Yet, the extent of treated wastewater reuse for aquaculture and the scientific attention it gets are negligible compared to treated wastewater reuse for agricultural irrigation. According to most of the published studies, fish culture in treated wastewater is feasible in terms of fish survival and growth. In addition, fish have been found to be safe for human consumption in terms of microbiological contamination and the bioaccumulation of heavy metals and certain organic-micropollutants, as the detected levels have been in accordance with international standards (EU and/or FAO) for human consumption. It appears that the sociocultural perception is a major barrier to the implementation of treated wastewater reuse for aquaculture, which can be overcome by a combination of further research, legislation, and public relations.

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