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Optimising urban environments by integrating surface water and greywater systems with urban agriculture

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Greywater, or water that originated from showering and bathing, after subsequent treatment has important potential for sustaining urban agriculture and urban green infrastructure. The complexity of urban drainage and surface water systems, however, tends to confound aspirations for improving the utility and environmental value that can be derived from this treated greywater. This is particularly evident with regard to sustaining the cultivation of food crops and food production in urban areas. Recent longitudinal research has demonstrated sound evidence for the effectual sustaining of plant growth using treated greywater. This PhD research project will apply an interdisciplinary urban systems approach to the challenge of delivering and applying treated greywater for irrigation across widely varying urban conditions. The research intent is to combine a systems approach to greywater treatment and availability (including water quality and flow), to the engineering aspects of delivery of treated greywater to distributed points-of-use, and to nutrient transference to crops. The feasibility of, and outputs derived from various combinations of systems factors will be evaluated. Sensitivity testing will be conducted, and network optimising conditions will be elicited. The ranges of system factors and outputs will be applied to the identification, future development and expansion of supplemental greywater irrigation for supporting urban agricultural zones.

Funding Notes

Accredited masters qualification. (This could also include water science or water engineering specialisations)


Li F., Wichmann K. and Otterpohl R. (2009). Review of the technological approaches for grey water treatment and reuses. Science of The Total Environment, 407, 11, pp3439-3449.
Hyde K. and Maradza E. (2013). An evaluation of the theoretical potential and practical opportunities for using recycled greywater for domestic purposes in Ghana. Journal of Cleaner Production, 60, pp195-200.

How good is research at University of Reading in Architecture, Built Environment and Planning?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 34.90

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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