A methodological approach for comparing waste water effluent's regulatory and management frameworks based on sustainability assessment

Francesco Di Maria, Shira Daskal, Ofira Ayalon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The availability of deterministic models to achieve information regarding the main aspects affected by the implementation of regulations is of high importance for supporting decision-makers and policymaking. This is particularly true and of crucial importance when pursuing more sustainable development. The present study proposes a triple bottom integrated model for the evaluation of the main aspects of sustainability —environmental, social, and economic— based on an integrated sustainability index. The model was applied for comparing the wastewater regulatory systems implemented in Italy and Israel. The main results show that greenhouse gas emissions were about 0.60 kgCO2eq/m3 for Israel and about 0.07 kgCO2eq/m3 for Italy. Concerning freshwater eutrophication, the emissions related to the Italian scenarios ranged from about 2x10-3 kgPeq/m3 to 1.2x10-2 kgPeq/m3 for use on soil and discharge to river, respectively. For Israel, the same figures resulted 6x10-3 kgPeq/m3 and 1x10-3 kgPeq/m3, respectively. The impact on human health ranged from 0.5x10-5 DALY to 1.56x10-4 DALY depending on the emission limits and final destination. A comprehensive figure of sustainability was calculated by the proposed integrated sustainability index. The higher was this index the lower was the sustainability. Results for “discharge to river” were 8.91 for Israel and 9.15 for Italy whereas for “reuse on soil” the index was 24.7 for Israel and 19.9 for Italy. The methodological approach presented in this paper can be implemented to measure and enhance sustainability performance in water sectors, as well as in other environmental fields.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106805
JournalEcological Indicators
StatePublished - Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd


  • Effluents
  • Integrated sustainability index
  • Quality standards
  • Regulation
  • Sustainability indicators
  • wastewater treatment plants (WWTP)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology


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