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Untreated wastewater and agriculture

Every year, a significant amount of water resources is spent on agriculture, which due to the limited freshwater resources and climate change, one of the proposed ways is wastewater treatment. This shortage of freshwater can be partially compensated by re-treatment of wastewater and use in the agricultural sector.
One of the main problems of using this method is improper treatment and the entry of untreated wastewater into the agricultural sector, which can pose many risks to human health. This paper describes the effects of untreated wastewater entering agricultural waters.

The World Health Organization has described some effects of sewage entering agricultural waters, including gastrointestinal and diarrheal diseases, viral diseases, hepatitis A, worm infections such as ascariasis, and anemia.
Another problem with untreated wastewater entering agricultural waters is that workers and farmers can be exposed to skin diseases due to frequent skin contact with this contaminated water. Also, the presence of heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, and lead can cause many health problems. For example, the accumulation of cadmium in the kidneys due to repeated contact with these contaminated waters can cause kidney disease and osteoporosis.

Due to the numerous problems of untreated wastewater entry into agricultural waters, the importance of the study, in this case, has been identified. Some countries in Southeast Asia, as well as sub-Saharan Africa, need to study more closely in this area due to the entry of industrial effluents into the sewage system because the treatment of different materials requires different technologies. One of the issues that different communities are always considering is that It is necessary to whether to do so, given the costs of wastewater treatment as well as the diseases caused by improper wastewater treatment and its entry into agricultural waters.

The answer to this question requires factors such as geographical location, method of using factory effluents, the volume of water resources, as well as the amount of water required for agricultural activities. Based on the mentioned factors and economic estimates, it can be concluded whether in each region, is it economical?

Finally, due to global warming and the scarcity of water resources, humans are forced to use different methods to compensate for the water needed in different sectors, but it should be noted that using treated wastewater for agricultural activities, must be done in principle to prevent acute problems related to human health.

Source: Dickin, S. K., Schuster-Wallace, C. J., Qadir, M., & Pizzacalla, K. (2016). A Review of Health Risks and Pathways for Exposure to Wastewater Use in Agriculture. Environmental health perspectives124(7), 900–909. https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1509995

Translator: Maryam Pasandidehnia

Effects of the presence of antibiotics in the environment

Due to the increasing use of drugs in communities, one of the most important problems in the world is the presence of these substances, especially antibiotics, in the environment. The presence of these substances can have devastating effects on the environment and human health. In recent years, these drugs have been continuously discharged into the environment without any restrictions; Although their entry into aquatic environments may be low, their continuous navigation due to their cumulative effect can be considered a major threat to aquatic ecosystems and their microorganisms. The presence of these antibiotics in the environment, including the aqueous environment, can cause various reactions from simple allergies to in some cases direct toxicity; In addition, the presence of these drugs in the environment leads to the resistance of organisms to antibiotics, which seriously threaten the functioning of the ecosystem and human health.

In general, the effects of the presence of antibiotics can be divided into 4 categories, which are:

1. Wastewater

Aquatic environments, including sewage, as the main recipient of intestinal bacteria, are a favorite place for many bacteria to become resistant to various types of antibiotics. Due to the fact that a few antibiotics are biodegradable, most of them go through biological wastewater treatment processes and enter the environment without decomposition and metabolism.

2. Surface water

Substances that have not been removed in the wastewater treatment plant or have been removed in small amounts will eventually reach surface waters, which may affect various organisms. Among the organisms that are sensitive to antibiotics in surface water, we can mention green-blue algae.

3. Sediments and soil

Soil is one of the ecosystems that have large amounts of antibiotics due to receiving animal fertilizers. Antibiotics affect soil-dwelling microorganisms. Antibiotics may affect the quantity and quality of microorganisms and reduce the number of soil microorganisms.

4. Impact on humans

Antibiotics and antibiotic-resistant genes have been observed in purified water and the distribution system. The presence of antibiotic-resistant genes poses health risks to humans through the transfer of bacteria-resistant genes. Studies have shown that some antibiotic-resistant microorganisms can survive chlorination operations and eventually enter the drinking water system. Although the concentration of antibiotics in the surface water is very low, many people are concerned about the presence of drugs in drinking water because the drugs are designed to act on certain proteins. Among the effects of antibiotics can be allergic reactions. One of the effects of using tetracycline on children is damage to the teeth. Humans are also exposed to these substances by consuming plants and vegetables such as carrot root, lettuce leaves, and corn, which have absorbed antibiotics from water or sediments.

In engineering, there are several ways to remove these materials. Given the destructive effects of the presence of these substances in the environment, the importance of maximum elimination of drugs, especially antibiotics, is obvious.

Some methods of removing antibiotics are:

  1. Advanced oxidation
  2. Adsorption
  3. Use of biosorbents
  4. Biological degradation
  5. Electric coagulation
  6. Pre-treatment with a continuous batch reactor
  7. Secondary sludge treatment

Author: Maryam Pasandidehnia, Study of Separation of Antibiotics from Wastewater by Adsorption Method, 2021

Cooperation in the field of environmental modeling

Researchers and students who are familiar with at least one of the IIASA environmental models and tools including:

  • MESSAGE (A modeling framework for medium- to long-term energy system planning, energy policy analysis, and scenario development)
  • GAINS (A scientific tool to combat air pollution and climate change simultaneously)
  • SSP Scenario Database (Analyze the feedbacks between climate change and socioeconomic factors)

can announce their readiness for cooperation through the admin of the Office channel on Telegram/ Email (sustainability@aut.ac.ir).

Appointment of the new director

Congratulations on the appointment of Dr. Sayed Alireza Hosseinzadeh Hejazi as manager of AUT’s Office of Sustainability and we ask God Almighty for his increasing success.

We also appreciate the efforts of Dr. Khorsandi during his tenure as manager of the Office of Sustainability over the past three years.

2nd workshop on life cycle assessment

Life cycle assessment is a “cradle to grave” approach to assess industrial systems. The comprehensive approach, namely, “cradle to grave”, starts the assessment with the collection of the raw materials for producing things and ends with the return of the consumed product to the ground. Life cycle assessment makes it possible to estimate the cumulative environmental effects of all production process stages of the product’s life cycle. LCA is one of the experts that environmental engineers should be familiar with to be able to professionally evaluate projects, products, activities, etc., and make vital decisions to reduce environmental impacts. Today, to facilitate LCA for environmental engineers, some software has been developed. One of the most famous ones is openLCA software, which is open-source, practical, and common among engineers. In this course, the LCA approach and openLCA software will be trained.

  • Time: 10th- 11th July 2021 4:00 PM- 8:00 PM
  • Costs:
    • Students of Amirkabir University of Technology (AUT): 2,700,000 Rials
    • Members of AUT Office of Sustainability: 2,700,000 Rials
    • Other students: 3,200,000 Rials
    • Others (not student): 4,500,000 Rials
  • Online platform: Adobe Connect
  • Certificate will be awarded on behalf of AUT Office of Sustainability

ظرفیت دوره تکمیل شده است. با تشکر از همراهی شما The course is fully booked. Thank you

End of International program on Education for Sustainable Development ‪(ESD)‬

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.‎” – Dale Carnegie

The greatest international program on green management and education for sustainable development ‪(ESD)‬ was held for the first time at the level of university administrators across the country.‎ The AUT Office of Sustainability organized this program with the cooperation of Vice-Chancellor for International Affairs of Amirkabir University of Technology (AUT), German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and the University of Potsdam within the framework of a program called National Multiplication Training ‪(NMT-DIES)‬.‎

This program was in line with the policies announced by the Ministry of Science, Research, and Technology in the field of green management and promoted the leadership of the Amirkabir University of Technology in sustainable development.‎ After a year of effort and planning, it was held in the form of two 3-day workshops, the first from 4th to 6th January 2020, and the second from 21st to 23rd July 2020, with the participation of experienced national and international professors and experts.‎ The program was supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and Amirkabir University of Technology ‪(AUT)‬.‎

During 6 months, the ESD participants were asked to define, plan, and fully implement a project related to sustainable development and green management (energy saving, water and waste management) in their university.‎ The specialized interactive workshops enabled them to solve their problems.‎ Thus, Amirkabir University of Technology will be more recognized as a hub for education in the field of sustainable development and green management.‎

For more information, visit the website of this program at http://esd.aut.ac.ir.

 

 

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), Initiative for Green Campus

Office of Sustainability at Amirkabir University of Technology (AUT) has been selected by DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) from Iran among a pool of applicants for the DIES NMT program. DAAD is going to help and support the accepted entities to hold various training courses in their countries.

In this regard, AUT’s Office of Sustainability and Office of International Affairs will hold the training program of “Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), Initiative for Green Campus” as a joint program with DAAD and Potsdam University from Germany. This training program comprises 2 workshops which will be held on January 4th – 6th and July 21st – 23rd of 2020, respectively.

The ESD is a training program for different university authorities who their function and responsibility is related to green management and implementation of green projects at universities (e.g. faculty members, human resource management, environmental management sectors, and people who are responsible for the Council of Strategic Green Management).

It is worth mentioning that participating in this program is completely free of charge for the accepted applicants and the costs will be covered completely by DAAD and Amirkabir University of Technology.

In order to apply for this program, the applicants are required to send their applications via the website of the program and the application deadline is December 5th. For more information and sending the applications, please refer to the program website (esd.aut.ac.ir).

Website: http://esd.aut.ac.ir

[1] National Multiplication Training

 

Negotiation and problem solving skills workshop

Course date: 11 to 25 November 2019 for two weeks (two sessions)

Day and duration of classes: Saturdays from 16:30 to 18:30

Lecturer: Ms. Razieh Jafari Fazel, Master of Clinical Psychology and official member of the Organization of Psychology and Counseling

Cost: 105,000 Tomans – 10% special discount for members with a valid card of Office of Sustainability

Topics related to problem solving skills:

A) The need to learn problem solving skills

B) Basic steps to solve the problem

C) Techniques

Negotiation skills topics:

A) Familiarity with the 8 principles of negotiation

B) Readiness to negotiate

C) Establish a conversation

D) Offer / reciprocal offer

F) Disagreement / agreement

Self-knowledge and Transactional Analysis Seminar

The psychological games that exist in human relationships are defined in terms of transactional analysis (TA). According to the analysis of mutual behavior, every human being is in one of the states of his child, adult or parent at any given moment and is constantly changing from one state to another.

  • Eric Berne explains that the reason these games continue to go on in daily life is that one of the players is so-called cheating.
  • The games are repetitive. Each person plays their favorite game over and over again at different times. Opposing sides of the game and circumstances may change. But the pattern of the game does not change.
  • Games are played without adult awareness. Despite the fact that people repeat the games over and over again, they replay their game each time without knowing it. Only when the actor reaches the final scenes of the game may he ask himself: How did this happen again? Even at this stage, it is not usually the people who have been involved in launching the game themselves.

Learn more about psychological games and transactional analysis at the one-day TA seminar.

  • This seminar is free and participation is open to the public after registration.
  • At the end of this seminar, the program of future workshops is announced and it is possible to register in person (the capacity of the workshops is limited).

Workshop registration link

Workshop on river flood simulation and analysis using two-dimensional HEC-RAS model

The Iranian Water Resources Science and Engineering Association and the Center for the Study and Development of Water Technology (Fanab) are holding:

Workshop

“River flood simulation and analysis using two-dimensional HEC-RAS model”


Workshop details

  • Workshop time: Thursday and Friday, August 24 and 25, from 9 am to 5 pm
  • Workshop duration: 16 hours (two days)
  • Venue: Amirkabir University of Technology
  • Tuition for participating in the workshop per person: 450,000 Tomans

Workshop instructor

  • Dr. Asghar Azizian
  • Faculty member of the department of Civil Engineering, Imam Khomeini International University
  • Author of several books

Why should I participate in this workshop?

The growth and development of numerical models for simulating the hydrodynamic pattern of flow and flood have provided the basis for the use of these models and their use in research. Therefore, having sufficient knowledge of these softwares is a necessity.
By participating in this workshop, mastery of using the numerical model to be used in research and applied studies is achieved and creates the background for the development of the use of numerical models in applied projects.

Workshop topics

  • Introduction Description of different parts of HEC-HMS model
  • Learn how to build a rainfall-runoff model of a basin using the HEC-HMS model
  • Learning how to calibrate the HEC-HMS model with different methods
  • Description of different outputs of HEC-HMS model
  • Introducing the two-dimensional model HEC-RAS
  • Learn how to build a computational network and import digital elevation models into a two-dimensional model environment
  • Learn how to connect to online resource maps such as Google Earth and NASA Maps in the HEC-RAS environment
  • Learn how to combine one-dimensional and two-dimensional models simultaneously in the HEC-RAS model
  • Teaching numerical settings and examining its effect on model performance
  • Investigation of various factors causing numerical instability
  • Create graphic, tabular and animated outputs from flow parameters at different times
  • Investigating the sensitivity of the two-dimensional model to the dimensions of the computational mesh
  • How to transfer the results of the hydraulic model to the GIS environment

Workshop considerations

  • In order to increase the executive quality and content of the workshop, the capacity of the workshop is limited.
  • Participants must be in class 15 minutes before the workshop begins.
  • Participants must bring their ID card with them on the day of the workshop.
  • Participants must have a computer to use the workshop more effectively.
  • At the end of the workshop, participants will be awarded a certificate appropriate to the final exam of the course.
  • At the end of the workshop, participants will join a cyberspace group to discuss and share their questions.
  • The workshop video will be given to the participants at the end of the workshop.
  • Workshop schedule, software download link and required files will be sent to participants before the workshop starts.

Workshop registration link