Next Article in Journal
Impact of Groundwater Level on Nitrate Nitrogen Accumulation in the Vadose Zone Beneath a Cotton Field
Previous Article in Journal
Variability of Darcian Flux in the Hyporheic Zone at a Natural Channel Bend
Article Menu
Issue 3 (March) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Water 2017, 9(3), 175;

Cost–Benefit Analysis of Wastewater Reuse in Puglia, Southern Italy

Politecnico di Bari, Department DICATECh Via Orabona 4, 70126 Bari, Italy
Department DiSAAT, University of Bari, Via Orabona 4, 70126 Bari, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andreas Angelakis
Received: 25 November 2016 / Accepted: 22 February 2017 / Published: 28 February 2017
Full-Text   |   PDF [1925 KB, uploaded 1 March 2017]   |  


A comprehensive economic analysis of the associated costs and benefits derived from wastewater treatment is a prerequisite for ensuring long-term economic, environmental, and social sustainability. This study aims to improve the economic evaluation of wastewater reuse. A methodological framework is presented for the application of cost-benefit analysis to wastewater project plants. The method considers two alternative scenarios for the irrigation use of treated water: (i) for newly irrigated land; and (ii) as an alternative to current groundwater sources. A case study is carried out in Puglia, Southern Italy, where two thirds of irrigation water comes from groundwater. The results show that improved urban wastewater treatment would increase the regional availability of irrigation water by 60 million m3 per year, about 10% of the overall irrigation water demand. While treatment costs are highly dependent on the incoming effluent quality and plant size, the benefits are quite stable. These results point to a case-specific analysis, whereby the economic convenience of wastewater reuse could be assessed against the local context. View Full-Text
Keywords: Wastewater reuse; cost-benefit analysis; valuing water; groundwater; irrigation Wastewater reuse; cost-benefit analysis; valuing water; groundwater; irrigation

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Arborea, S.; Giannoccaro, G.; de Gennaro, B.C.; Iacobellis, V.; Piccinni, A.F. Cost–Benefit Analysis of Wastewater Reuse in Puglia, Southern Italy. Water 2017, 9, 175.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Water EISSN 2073-4441 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top