IIWQ Series of Technical and Policy Case Studies

Emerging Pollutants in Water and Wastewater

1. Integrated Environmental Assessment (IEA) of Household Pharmaceutical Waste (HPW) in Kuwait and its potential impact on wastewater reuse

Institutions: Arabian Gulf University (Bahrain) & Kuwait University 
Geographical scope: Kuwait 
Description: The case study examines the links to water and wastewater pollution, environmental risks, policy and regulatory aspects, by applying an Integrated Environmental Assessment (IEA) of Household Pharmaceutical Waste (HPW) in Kuwait and its potential impact on wastewater reuse using the DPSIR (driving forces - pressure - state - impact - responses) framework and the policy analysis methodology.

2. Impact and risks of perfluoroalkyl substances in Ethiopia – FluorosImpact

Institutions: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Ethiopian Institute of Water Resources & Uppsala University (Sweden)
Geographical scope: Ethiopia (Lake Tana)
Description: This work highlights the problematic of emerging pollutants, specifically perfluoroalkylated substances (PFASs), in the environment of Lake Tana in Ethiopia and their impact on humans. Moreover, it investigates the spatial distribution of PFASs in fish tissue and evaluates PFASs’ concentrations between different fish species to also assess the risk of these contaminants to human health with increasing fish consumption. It recommends, where appropriate, on emission reductions based upon science based surveillance of emissions. 

3. Critical role of wetlands in mitigating impacts of emerging pollutants in water and wastewater

Institutions: University of Western Sydney (Australia), Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research, Public Health Institute (Mongolia) & University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania)
Geographical scope: Global (Africa, Asia, Europe)
Description: The case-study focuses on a critical review on the role and performance of wetland systems in mitigating impacts of emerging pollutants in water and wastewater. Impacts and risks on wetlands due to new and emerging pollutants threatening human health and the environment are documented as well as the evaluation of the capacity of wetland systems to control the disposal of emerging pollutants into water resources and the environment. Recommendations for wetland technologies to remove emerging pollutants from water and wastewater are provided, where appropriate.

4. Emerging pollutants and their prevalence and impact on Caribbean islands

Institutions: Island Water Technologies (Canada), Carleton University (Canada), University of Illinois (United States) & World Water and Wastewater Solutions (Canada)
Geographical scope: Caribbean Islands
Description: This study addresses the challenge of defining the presence of emerging contaminants in the wider Caribbean region and the baseline of emerging contaminants present in drinking water supplies of a rural community of the Canaries in St. Lucia. This work will ultimately help use data gathered as a benchmark for future improvements to local wastewater infrastructure.

5. Modeling the chemical fate of emerging pollutants in waterways of Africa, Asia, and Latin America for rapid risk assessments, geospatial exposure mapping, and screening purposes: A pilot study

Institution: McGill University (Canada)
Geographical scope: Global (Africa, Asia, Latin America)
Description: This work describes the main characteristics and reports on the feasibility of a large-scale, high-resolution chemical fate model to screen for hotspots of existing and emerging pollutants in surface waters over entire continents (Africa, Asia and Latin America). To this end, it uses a previously developed case study conducted on the entire mainland of China with a thematic focus on modelling risks from anthropogenic hormone emissions into surface waters to demonstrate the characteristics of such a model. Lastly, this study compiles available data, including the location of wastewater treatment plants in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, reports on data quality and remaining gaps, and recommends further steps towards completing data coverage for Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

6. Contaminants of Emerging Concern in Oued Souhil area, Nabeul, Tunisia: Occurrence in Irrigation water and implications (ECOSI)

Institutions: University of Carthage (Tunisia), University of Cyprus, University of Montpellier (France) & Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources-BGR (Germany)
Geographical scope: Tunisia (Oued Souhil area, Nabeul)
Description: This case-study reports on the occurrence of selected contaminants of emerging concern in irrigation water (wastewater and groundwater) and in soil in the Oued Souhil area of Tunisia. Based on available data and literature, it explicitly investigates their relevance in these matrices with respect to fate, behaviour, and risks to the ecosystem. Ultimately, it comprehensively and critically reports on knowledge gaps on contaminants of emerging concern.
Related link: http://www.nireas-iwrc.org/index.php?link=news_details.php&s...

7. Harnessing Scientific Research based outcomes for effective monitoring and regulation of Emerging Pollutants: A case study of Emerging Pollutants in Water and Wastewater in Nigeria

Institutions: UNESCO Regional Office in Abuja (Nigeria), Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (Nigeria), University of Ibadan (Nigeria) & Basel Convention Regional Coordinating Centre for Africa for Training and Technology Transfer (Nigeria)
Geographical scope: Nigeria
Description: This study identifies and gathers data and scientific information on emerging pollutants (EPs) concentrations in water and wastewater from agricultural, industrial, hospital, municipal and domestic sites in Nigeria. It also determines the concentration, rate of removal during treatment processes and the methodologies used. Focus is done on pharmaceuticals used for human health as well as disinfectants and hormones. 

8. Appropriate policy solutions for removal and control of emergent contaminants (ECs) in the solid residual remaining after sewage treatment– a blind spot in wastewater research and policy analysis: A critical review of policy tools and regulatory frameworks potentially suitable for Mumbai, India

Institutions: The University of British Columbia (Canada), Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Indian Institute of Technology & Lund University (Sweden)
Geographical scope: India (Mumbai)
Description: This work identifies effective policy tools to reduce risks to human and environmental health caused by pollutants in sewage sludge in Mumbai, India. Furthermore, it carries out policy analyses of existing regulations, guidelines and policies with a focus on tools and outcomes, and identifies characteristics of effective policies.

9. Characterization of pharmaceutical pollution in the aquatic environment of Nigeria and their potential ecotoxicological effects

Institutions: Lagos State University (Nigeria), German Federal Environment Agency, IWW Water Centre (Germany) & the University of Ibadan (Nigeria)
Geographical scope: Nigeria
Description: This case-study sets up a database on existing information in Nigeria by gathering pharmaceutical measurements in aquatic environments and data on pharmaceutical consumption around this country. Moreover, it fills gaps on existing databases with own measurements and investigates on potential ecotoxicological effects of exposure to pharmaceuticals.

10. Organochlorine pesticides, impact in the water, blood of Maya women with uterine cervix cancer, and breast milk -human biomarkers-, trends in public health in Yucatan, Mexico

Institutions: Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán (México), UNESCO/UNITWIN Wicop.- Universidad de Cádiz (Spain) & the Università degli Studi di Udine (Italy)
Geographical scope: México (Yucatán)
Description: This study furthers on an integral study on emerging diseases and provides an assessment of the results of contamination levels of organochlorine pesticides (OCP) in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Mainly, it describes the problematic of groundwater pollution under vulnerable karstic territories and their social conditions in this region. Moreover, it promotes intervention projects with Maya communities for the prevention of emerging diseases caused by water pollution as well as the design of monitoring programs contributing to the 2030 Agenda on human health, chemical water quality, OCP levels in blood of women with cervix uterine cancer and in breast milk, and agriculture production.

11. A critical evaluation of selected Persistent Inorganic and Organic Pollutants in the hydrological system: A case study on Keoladeo National Park (KNP), a UNESCO World Heritage Site in India

Institution: Gujarat Institute of Desert Ecology-GUIDE (India)
Geographical scope: UNESCO World Heritage Site in India (Keoladeo National Park)
Description: This work focuses on the Keoladeo National Park and its catchment areas, including satellite wetlands, which are at an increased risk of receiving toxic metals and pesticide residues. It critically analyzes the available information to generate databases on select toxic metals and organochlorine and organo-phosphorus pesticide residues, in and around the KNP, comprising the watershed area of the Banganga and Gambhir Rivers. Ultimately, it provides information on the potential persistent pollutants in hydrosphere (sources and occurrences), and contributes to the understanding on human and ecological implications in and around the UNESCO world heritage site in India. 

12. Status report on pharmaceuticals in the Baltic Sea region

Institution: Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission-HELCOM (Finland)
Geographical scope: Baltic Sea region
Description: This initiative provides a comprehensive background for a regional strategy to mitigate pharmaceuticals' possible harmful effect in the Baltic Sea based on information compiled at national and regional level. It integrates information on production and consumption of pharmaceuticals in the region, their pathways to the Baltic Sea environment, and concentrations in all the compartments of the environment and effects on marine life. It also identifies knowledge gaps and possible measures to fill such gaps.
Related link: http://www.helcom.fi/news/Pages/Pharmaceuticals-in-the-Balti...

13. Microplastics in wastewater – An emerging issue

Institutions: UNEP Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land Based Activities (GPA), UNEP Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML) & Plastic Soup Foundation (The Netherlands)
Geographical scope: Global
Description: This case study focuses to raise public and stakeholder awareness on socioeconomic, human health, and environmental impacts presented by microplastics in wastewater effluents around the planet. It also develops recommendations on the removal of microplastics and micro fibers from wastewater and consumer products while engaging with relevant stakeholders, especially industries and civil society organizations. 

14. Impacts of Wastewater Discharge on water quality, human health and livelihoods of populations living along the Lake Victoria River Basin

Institutions: Lake Victoria Basin Commission, East African Community, Lake Victoria Water Basin Board, National Environment Management Authority (Kenya), Water Resources Management Authority (Kenya) & UNEP Division of Environmental Policy Implementation
Geographical scope: International (Lake Victoria River Basin)
Description: The case study explores pollution sources and their impacts on ecosystems, human health and livelihoods of the Lake Victoria River Basins in Kenya. It collects and analyzes secondary data on impacts of wastewater discharge into the Lake Victoria River Basin, namely the four major rivers draining this basin (River Yala, River Nyando, River Sondu Miriu and River Nzoia). It also identifies gaps and proposes ways of enhancing policy implementation at the river basin level.  

15. Occurrence of emerging contaminants in source and drinking water in the State of São Paulo, Brazil

Institution: University of Campinas (Brazil)
Geographical scope: Brazil (São Paulo)
Description: This work investigates the occurrence of pesticides, pharmaceuticals and personal care products, hormones, industrial compounds, caffeine and illicit drugs in different water bodies in both agricultural and urban areas of the State of São Paulo State, Brazil. The occurrence data compared with the available water quality criteria for different uses of water supports the implementation of public policies to ensure better water quality for multiple uses of water, including human consumption.

16. Emerging pollutants in water and wastewater of East Ukraine: Occurrence, fate and regulation

Institution: O.M. Beketov National University of Urban Economy (Ukraine)
Geographical scope: Ukraine (Kharkiv region)
Description: This study pays special attention to the monitoring of endocrine disruptors (alkylphenol ethoxilates and bisphenol A) and pharmaceuticals in water and wastewater of the Kharkiv region in East Ukraine (c.a. 3,000,000 inhabitants). It covers the occurrence and fate of emerging pollutants in natural water and wastewaters, related socio-economic issues and its regulation.