Towards sustainable wastewater management: A spatial multi-criteria framework to site the Land-FILTER system in a complex urban environment

Shamsa Kanwal*, Muhammad Sajjad, Hamza Farooq Gabriel, Ejaz Hussain

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Land is a pricy and scarce resource, particularly in urban areas. If it is utilized effectively, suitable sites can be allocated for urban wastewater safe disposal through effluents treatment and reuse. This study used multicriteria decision-making approach known as weighted linear combination to map the suitability of an on-site natural wastewater treatment system in the urban and industrial environments—selecting Faisalabad City in Pakistan as the study area. Location of the study region in a water-scarce zone increases the scope of the untreated wastewater disposal into land and water bodies as well as its reuse for irrigation. Data on climate parameters (i.e., temperature, rainfall, and evapotranspiration), geophysical parameters, (i.e., including soil, topography, depth to groundwater table, and groundwater electrical conductivity), and socioeconomic parameters (i.e., land cover maps and proximity from roads/railways and rivers/canals) are used for the development of weighted linear combination based suitability index maps. Analytical hierarchical process-based heuristic approach is adapted to estimate the relative importance of all the parameters. Weights with less than 0.10 consistency ratio are used in the preparation of the final suitability map. The land area required for the proposed on-site wastewater treatment system is estimated as a function of climatic factors and wastewater characteristics. Adoption of the proposed multicriteria framework helped identifying four potentially environment-friendly and economically viable sites. The results show that geospatial multicriteria framework could efficiently help urban planners in sustainable wastewater management, particularly in developing countries where climate-change-induced water scarcity and associated health issues are critical.
Original languageEnglish
Article number121987
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Early online date10 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020

User-Defined Keywords

  • Remote sensing
  • Geographic information system
  • AHP
  • Urban planning
  • Pakistan


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