ORGANIC CONTAMINANTS CHARACTERIZATION IN THE RECLAIMED WATER-BASED IRRIGATION SYSTEM AT THE SPANISH CASE STUDY
by IDAEA- CSIC
The use of reclaimed water for agricultural purposes has revealed an increasing need in the
Mediterranean area as a consequence of the scarce availability of high-quality water and, thus,
it is becoming an important irrigation water resource. The European regulation has established
minimum quality standards that should be accomplished for the sake of safer reuse of
Notwithstanding this, in the last decades, the scientific community has put
into evidence the presence of multiple contaminants of emerging concern in the environment,
including most water resources. Wastewater treatment plants are not able to
completely remove organic pollutants and, therefore, pharmaceuticals, pesticides or industrial
chemicals may reach crops through these irrigation systems .
The MAGO project, conscious of this problem, is working on the characterization of the organic
contamination along the reclaimed water irrigation system in the Spanish case study. The first
screening analyses have shown the presence of 162 contaminants along the whole irrigation
system, from which more than 100 compounds are still present at the point of irrigation. These
contaminants have subsequently followed a prioritization process in order to identify the most
relevant ones in terms of abundance and toxicity. These prioritized pollutants will be now
monitored in the area of study in a comprehensive way for a more exhaustive evaluation of
the water quality and further environmental and food risk assessment.
This data will provide useful information for the correct management of the possible
environmental and food risks derived from the reuse of wastewater for agricultural irrigation.
 The European Parliament and the Council, Regulation (EU) 2020/741, Minimum
requirements for water reuse, Off. J. Eur. Union. 177/33 (2020) 32–55.
 P. Roccaro, P. Verlicchi, Wastewater and reuse, Curr. Opin. Environ. Sci. Heal. 2 (2018)