"Bottle it up: We can use it" - Scientific studies on human urine - A presentation by Arghyam
This presentation deals with the issue of reuse of human urine in agriculture.

This presentation by Arghyam includes the results of doctoral study done by G Sridevi under the guidance of Prof. C.A.Srinivasamurthy on the reuse of human urine in agriculture titled "Studies on the effect of Anthropogenic Liquid Waste (ALW) on soil properties and crop growth". The research was conducted at the Department of Soil Science and Agriculture Chemistry, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore and was supported by Arghyam, Bangalore. Anthropogenic Liquid Waste (ALW) implies use of human urine.


Evidence indicates that the nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium (NPK) that is generated from human urine gets wasted on a huge scale and can be effectively utilised to meet the NPK needs of the agricultural sector in India. A number studies in different parts of the world (India, Nepal, China, Japan) have demonstrated that ALW has been used successfully for growing crops and human faeces have been used as compost in Netherlands and Africa.

The study:

With this background, this study tested the hypothesis that application of ALW as a nutrient source has a positive impact on  soil properties and plant growth. This hypothesis was tested on three crops namely, maize, banana and radish. A randomised study design was used and included:

  • A laboratory study that studied the impact of ALW on changes in soil parameters with varying ALW concentrations
  • A field based study that compared the effect of ELW on  maize and banana crops separately by treating crops with various dilutions of ALW, and comparing with chemical fertilised crops and control plots
  • Potted plant study included experiments with radish plants where only nitrogen supplied as nutrient source through ALW. Doses given in combination of dilution and splits.


Analysis of data indicated that the use of ALW (in combination with gypsum) led to:

  • Healthier crop growth
  • Building of higher nutrient content and mass in the grain/fruit/root of the respective crops
  • Cost-benefit ratio was found to be marginally better than chemical fertilisers

View the presentation below:

Here are links to three films on this study:

Film 1: In this film, Dr Sreedevi describes the details of her doctoral study on the use of human urine in agriculture.

Film 2: In this film, Dr Sreedevi describes the details of Ecosan- protocol for safe handling and application of urine.

Film 3: This film captures the opinions of diverse people on the concept of Ecosan and the use of urine as fertilizer.

Posted by
Get the latest news on water, straight to your inbox
Subscribe Now
Continue reading