Join us for this UBC Future of Food global dialogue series talk on the challenges and complexities in wastewater reuse in peri-urban Bangalore, India with Dr. Bejoy K Thomas, a Liu Institute Visiting Fellow.

March 23, 2017
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
AERL 120, Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory, UBC Vancouver campus

bejoy thomas


Wastewater reuse has become an accepted practice in cities and peri-urban areas. However, in developing country settings, wastewater reuse presents multiple challenges. First, water treatment infrastructure is limited, implying that water reused may not meet the required water quality standards. Second, food crops grown in peri-urban areas and irrigated with contaminated urban wastewater pose health risk. Third, in water stressed cities, demand for wastewater may result in competing claims over it and lead to or aggravate conflicts between various users, such as urban residents and peri-urban farmers. I will draw upon research conducted in the water stressed city of Bangalore (also known as Bengaluru) in India and its peri-urban areas to illustrate these issues. In particular, I will focus on how peri-urban agriculture in the region has changed over the last 20 years, the role of urban wastewater and possible contestations around it.

The Liu Institute for Global Issues, Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability, and the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems welcome Bejoy K Thomas, a social scientist, and Fellow in the Water, Land and Society programme at Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), Bangalore, India. Bijou has a Masters in Economics (Cochin, 2001) and a PhD in Development Studies (Tilburg, 2009). He has a strong record of conducting problem driven research and working in interdisciplinary teams along with environmental scientists and engineers. His early work was on multidimensional poverty and participatory development. He has recently been part of a large research initiative on water in urbanizing areas, looking specifically at peri-urban areas and villages around Bangalore.

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This event is part of the UBC Future of Food Global Dialogue Series, a campus-wide initiative bringing together food security and sustainability experts from across the university and North America to regularly engage the UBC community and the public around the Global Food System, including topics such as climate change, food security, biodiversity, social justice, culture, and policy.

Find dates and details for upcoming events in the Event Calendar. Follow the discussion with #UBCFutureOfFood on Twitter.