Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

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PhDTalks | Innovative methodologies to support the implementation of sustainable wastewater reuse in agriculture: risk and impacts assessment

14 November 2023 @ 17:15 - 18:30

Our next PhDTalks Seminar will be held on Tuesday 14th november in Fassò Room (Building 4A), from 5:15 pm to 6:30 pm CET

PhDTalks is a series of seminars and discussions between PhD students. The events are aimed at providing a place to network and get in contact with many of the projects developed in our department. 

Speaker Luca Penserini will talk about “Innovative methodologies to support the implementation of sustainable wastewater reuse in agriculture: risk and impacts assessment”

At the end of each event a small refreshment funded by the department will be available. 

You can watch the event online by clicking here.


Water pollution and scarcity of clean freshwater, exacerbated by climate change and population growth, are posing a global risk not only limited to the environment, but also involving human health and related socio-economical aspects, raising a need for sustainable water management practices. The reuse of reclaimed wastewater (RWW), especially for agriculture, i.e., the most water demanding sector, has been recognized as a reliable alternative source to conventional freshwater. Either direct and indirect reuse of RWW inherently connects water in numerous environmental compartments (i.e., raw water, soil, crop). This interconnection leads to a series of impacts, either positive, as the water stress alleviation or the enhancement of agricultural productivity through the supply of nutrients, or negative, as the cross-contamination of different environmental compartments with contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), pathogens and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARBs). All these impacts need to be evaluated through specific models to avoid, or at least, mitigate, potential long-term risks. Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) assume a crucial role in determining the quality of RWW intended for irrigation, especially considering the compliance requisites delineated in the regulation on minimum requirements for water reuse adopted in June 2023 by the European Parliament (Regulation 2020/741). Moreover, in this regulation it is stressed the need for a shift from the common practice of establishing minimum quality requirements towards preventive risk analysis aimed at minimizing risks and maximizing positive impacts throughout all the steps of the RWW reuse chain. In this context, the present project is aimed at developing a holistic risk-based framework for the integrated assessment of RWW reuse practices’ impacts, to support decision-makers and water utilities in planning, design and comparing the different alternatives and determine the optimum solutions to minimize risks and social costs.

Speaker’s bio 

Luca is a PhD student in Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering (37th cycle) at Politecnico of Milan. He has a Master of Science in Environmental and Land Planning Engineering obtained in 2020 at Politecnico of Milan. Luca works in the safeWATER research group and his research activities focus on the impacts modelling of wastewater reuse in agriculture practices, emphasizing risk assessment procedures as a key focal point. In his free time, Luca loves playing sports and travelling.


14 November 2023
17:15 - 18:30
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