Contribute to the improvement of nutrient absorption, the increase in dissolved oxygen, and the decrease of pathogen population.

The citrus trees were subjected to ozone treatment and irrigated with reclaimed water in the field.

According to research conducted by the Murcian Institute of Agricultural and Food Research and Development (IMIDA), the use of ozone during irrigation with reclaimed water from a Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) can have positive impacts on crop cultivation. This includes enhancing nutrient availability, improving soil oxygen diffusion, and reducing the presence of harmful microorganisms in the rhizosphere. These benefits were observed without significant negative effects on the quality or yield of the harvest.

The study has compared the effects of ozone treatment on both soil and crops irrigated with reclaimed water, generating significant data in support of ozone’s use in agriculture. This research is part of the ” Integrated Management of the Regeneration and efficient and safe reuse of urban wastewater in agriculture ” (Reusagua) project, which was funded by the Murcia Ris3Mur project call and co-financed with Feder funds, with a total budget of €615,150.

As part of the recently completed Reusagua project, this initiative has produced a new tool to optimize the utilization of reclaimed water for irrigation, which can minimize the negative physiological and productivity impacts of using low-quality water. Following two years of research, guidelines have been established for using ozone treatment in the field, which can result in a more efficient and secure use of reclaimed water for irrigation. These guidelines offer a solution to help mitigate the negative effects of low-quality water on crops.

The project was implemented in a citrus orchard, where an ozone generation and distribution system was developed and installed specifically for this study. Due to the temporary nature of ozone, the system was integrated into the irrigation network on the plot, which relied on reclaimed water from the Molina de Segura WWTP.

It is worth noting that this study involved the participation of eight additional institutions and companies in the agricultural sector, alongside Imida. These include Cebas-CSIC, Polytechnic University of Cartagena, University of Murcia, Energy and Environment Technology Center, Esamur, Emuasa, Hidrogea, and Azud.