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End-of-Pipe Horticultural Reuse of Recirculating Aquaculture System Effluent: Comparing the Hydro-Economics of Two Horticulture Systems

School of Natural and Built Environments, University of South Australia, Adelaide 5000, Australia
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Water 2020, 12(5), 1409; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12051409
Received: 8 March 2020 / Revised: 10 May 2020 / Accepted: 13 May 2020 / Published: 15 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Water, Agriculture and Aquaculture)
To assist waste management decision-making, there is a need to assess the economics of commercial-scale reuse of recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) effluent in horticulture. This study compared the feasibility/viability of using two representative horticulture systems, considering their distinct hydrological characteristics, in horticultural reuse schemes for RAS effluent. These representative systems included a soil-based system in field conditions (SOIL-FIELD) and a hydroponic system in greenhouse conditions (HYDRO-GH). A novel two-step hydro-economic modelling approach was used to quantify and compare the effluent storage volume, total land area, capital expenditure and crop price required for feasible/viable end-of-pipe reuse in the two systems. The modelling assessed several water management scenarios across four Australian climates. Results showed HYDRO-GH, reusing 100% of the annual effluent load and targeting an internal rate of return of 11.0%, required approximately 3 times more land, 14 times more capital expenditure and 5 times the crop price of SOIL-FIELD, targeting a 3.6% internal rate of return. As well as comparing two horticulture systems, this study presents a method to assess feasibility/viability of horticultural reuse schemes for other industrial wastewaters, using a water balance design approach. View Full-Text
Keywords: horticulture; reuse; recirculating aquaculture system; effluent; soil; hydroponic; feasibility; viability; storage; end-of-pipe; hydro-economics horticulture; reuse; recirculating aquaculture system; effluent; soil; hydroponic; feasibility; viability; storage; end-of-pipe; hydro-economics
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Moore, E.; Ward, J.; Lennard, W. End-of-Pipe Horticultural Reuse of Recirculating Aquaculture System Effluent: Comparing the Hydro-Economics of Two Horticulture Systems. Water 2020, 12, 1409.

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