Economic and Environmental Effects of Treated Wastewater Use in Agriculture in the South of Tehran City with SWAT model

Document Type : Research Article


1 PhD student, Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Agriculture, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Agriculture, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

3 PhD in Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Agriculture, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran



The location of Tehran as the largest consumer of urban water in the country and also the different uses of water in this city, has led to the flow a significant volume of surface water resources in streams and canals in the southern regions of Tehran. These polluted surface runoffs are currently used in combination with underground water sources in agriculture in south of Tehran, which has adverse environmental consequences. The Surface water organization project in the south of Tehran in the Regional Water Company of Tehran has been explored to tackle the problem. Hence in this study, the economic and environmental effects of treated wastewater use in agriculture in the South of Tehran have been surveied in terms of project implementation and comparing the results with existing conditions in the region that uses polluted water for agricultural lands irrigation. According to the results, if the plan is implemented, the average amount of runoff has decreased from 201 to 84 cubic meters per hectare, and the amount of nitrates in the runoff has decreased from 14 to 0.1 kg per hectare. Also, by entering the wastewater into the plan area and using the fertilizer potential of the wastewater, the amount of nitrogen fertilizer consumption can be reduced by 5039 tons, which will reduce the costs of the farmers in the area by 55431 million Rials. As a result, the implementing the Surface water organization project in the south of Tehran will bring positive environmental effects.


Main Subjects

[1]. Abedi M.J, Najafi P. Use of treated wastewater in agriculture. National Committee for Irrigation and Drainage of Iran, Ministry of Energy. First Edition. Tehran. 2001. [Persian]
[2]. Qadir M, Wichelns D, Raschid-Sally L, Minhas PS, Drechsel P, Bahri A, van der Hoek W. Agricultural use of marginal-quality water: opportunities and challenges. 2007.
[3]. Salehi A, Tabari M, Mohammadi J, Arab p. The effect of irrigation with Urban wastewater on soil and growth of Tehran pine trees. Iranian Journal of Forests and Poplar.2007; 16(2): 186-196. [Persian]
[4]. Hassan Aqli A. Use of domestic wastewater and wastewater treatment plants in irrigation of agricultural products and artificial nutrition of groundwater aquifers. Doctoral dissertation, University of Tehran. 2003. [Persian]
[5]. Asano T, Levine A.D. Wastewater reclamation, recycling and reuse: past, present, and future. Water science and technology. 1996; 33(10-11): 1-14.
[6]. Jenkins D, Russell L.L. Heavy metals contribution of household washing products to municipal wastewater. Water Environment Research. 1994; 66(6): 805-813.
[7]. Vakili b. Wastewater treatment and reuse in agriculture. Journal of Water and Wastewater. 1996; 42: 47-16. [Persian]
[8]. Amini M, Ebrahimian H. Investigation of nitrate leaching and nitrogen uptake by maize under irrigation conditions with raw and treated effluent. Journal of Water and Soil (Agricultural Sciences and Industries). 2016; 31(3): 785-796. [Persian]
[9]. Molina-Navarro E, Trolle D, Martínez-Pérez S, Sastre-Merlín A, Jeppesen E. Hydrological and water quality impact assessment of a Mediterranean limno-reservoir under climate change and land use management scenarios. Journal of Hydrology. 2014; 509: 354-366.
[10]. Mohammadi M, Kavian A, slavery l. Simulation of water flow and nitrate in Talar watershed using SWAT model. Watershed Management Research Journal. 2017; 8. (15): 45-60. [Persian]
[11]. Lam Q.D, Schmalz B, Fohrer N. The impact of agricultural Best Management Practices on water quality in a North German lowland catchment. Environmental monitoring and assessment. 2011; 183(1): 351-379.
[12]. Jamshidi M, Tajrishy M, Maghrebi M. Modeling of point and non-point source pollution of nitrate with SWAT in the Jajrood river watershed. Iran. International Agricultural Engineering Journal. 2010; 19(2): 23-31.
[13]. Ullrich A, Volk M. Application of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to predict the impact of alternative management practices on water quality and quantity. Agricultural Water Management. 2009; 96(8): 1207-1217.
[14]. Ouyang W, Hao F.H, Wang X.L, Cheng H.G. Nonpoint source pollution responses simulation for conversion cropland to forest in mountains by SWAT in China. Environmental management. 2008; 41(1): 79-89.
[15]. Bärlund I, Kirkkala T, Malve O, Kämäri J. Assessing SWAT model performance in the evaluation of management actions for the implementation of the Water Framework Directive in a Finnish catchment. Environmental Modelling & Software. 2007; 22(5): 719-724.
[16]. Abbaspour K.C, Yang J, Maximov I, Siber, R, Bogner K, Mieleitner J, Srinivasan R. Modelling hydrology and water quality in the pre-alpine/alpine Thur watershed using SWAT. Journal of hydrology. 2007; 333(2-4): 413-430.
[17]. Pohlert T, Huisman J.A, Breuer L, Frede H.G. Modelling of point and non-point source pollution of nitrate with SWAT in the river Dill, Germany. Advances in Geosciences. 2005; 5: 7-12.
[18]. Tripathi M.P, Panda R.K, Raghuwanshi N.S, Singh R. Hydrological modelling of a small watershed using generated rainfall in the soil
and water assessment tool model. Hydrological processes. 2004; 18(10): 1811-1821.
[19]. Saleh A, Du B. Evaluation of SWAT and HSPF within BASINS program for the upper North Bosque River watershed in central Texas. Transactions of the ASAE. 2004; 47(4): 1039.
[20]. Borah D.K, Bera M. Watershed-scale hydrologic and nonpoint-source pollution models: Review of applications. Transactions of the ASAE. 2004; 47(3): 789.
[21]. Jury, W. A., W. R. Gardner, and W. H. Gardner., 1991. Soil Physics. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. New York, New York.
[22]. Thomas G.W, M. McMahon. The relation between soil characteristics, water movement and nitrate concentration of ground water. Unive. of Kentucky Water Resources Institute Research Report No. 52, Lexington, KY.1972.
[23]. Abbaspour K.C. SWAT calibration and uncertainty programs. A User Manual. Eawag Zurich, Switzerland, 20. 2008.
[24]. Hyung Kyung J, Jong Yoon P, Hyun Kyo J. Hyun Hin S, Hyung Joong K, Seong Joon K. The Uncertainity Analaysis of SWAT Simulated Streamflow and Water Quaility Applied to Chungju Dam Watershed of South Korea for climate change analysis. Agric. Sys. 2011; 38(3): 225-238.
Volume 9, Issue 3
October 2022
Pages 489-504
  • Receive Date: 31 March 2022
  • Revise Date: 30 April 2022
  • Accept Date: 01 June 2022
  • First Publish Date: 23 September 2022
  • Publish Date: 23 September 2022