Multiple use of irrigation water for improved health in dry regions of Africa and South Asia uri icon

abstract

  • In irrigation systems all over the world, water is not only used for the irrigation of agricultural crops, but for a whole range of domestic and other purposes as well. When groundwater is unavailable or of low quality, people may even depend on the irrigation system to provide them with drinking water. Examples from dry regions in different countries have shown that water in irrigation canals is used for laundry mainly on site, while water for domestic purposes is collected for use in the compound. In Morocco and Pakistan special reservoirs have been constructed for the storage of irrigation water for domestic purposes. Often this water is used for cooking and drinking without treatment. While the consumption of untreated surface water poses certain risks to human health, the higher availability of water through the presence of irrigation systems may actually provide health benefits. Water-washed and even water-borne diseases are reduced with increased use of water for personal and domestic hygiene. Adapted design and targeted water management could enhance the health benefits from multiple use of irrigation water and hence increase the value of water for irrigation, or rather, for rural development. Copyright (c) 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

publication date

  • 2007
  • 2007
  • 2007