Occurrence of chemical contaminants in peri-urban agricultural irrigation waters and assessment of their phytotoxicity and crop productivity
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Water scarcity and water pollution have increased the pressure on water resources worldwide. This pressure is particularly important in highly populated areaswherewater demand exceeds the available natural resources. In this regard, water reuse has emerged as an excellent water source alternative for peri-urban agriculture. Nevertheless, itmust copewith the occurrence of chemical contaminants, ranging fromtrace elements (TEs) to organic microcontaminants. In this study, chemical contaminants (i.e., 15 TEs, 34 contaminants of emerging concern (CECs)), bulk parameters, and nutrients from irrigation waters and crop productivity (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. cv. Bodar and Lactuca sativa L. cv. Batavia) were seasonally surveyed in 4 farm plots in the peri-urban area of the city of Barcelona. A pristine site, where rain-groundwater is used for irrigation, was selected for background concentrations. The average concentration levels of TEs and CECs in the irrigation water impacted by treated wastewater (TWW) were 3 (35±75 µg L-1) and 13 (553±1050 ng L-1) times higher than at the pristine site respectively. Principal component analysiswas used to classify the irrigationwaters by chemical composition. To assess the impact of the occurrence of these contaminants on agriculture, a seed germination assay (Lactuca sativa L) and real field-scale study of crop productivity (i.e., lettuce and tomato)were used. Although irrigation waters from the peri-urban area exhibited a higher frequency of detection and concentration of the assessed chemical contaminants than those of the pristine site (P1), no significant differences were found in seed phytotoxicity or crop productivity. In fact, the crops impacted by TWW showed higher productivity than the other farm plots studied, which was associated with the higher nutrient availability for plants.
CitationMargenat, A., Matamoros Mercadal, Víctor, Díez, S., Cañameras, N., Comas, J., Bayona, J. Occurrence of chemical contaminants in peri-urban agricultural irrigation waters and assessment of their phytotoxicity and crop productivity. "Science of the total environment", 1 Desembre 2017, núm. 599-600, DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.05.025, p. 1140-1148.