Canna x generalis irrigated with greywater in a nature-based solution
To achieve Goal 6 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and provide water for all, water reuse is essential. We assessed the potential of treating greywater (LGw) while reusing it via irrigation of Canna x generalis, commonly used in nature-based solutions (NBS), with a view on plant development. The study was conducted at a mesocosm scale with factorial designs to test two substrates and four types of irrigation water. Stage 1 tested LGw, LGw with nutrients (LGw + N), and tap water with nutrients (TW + N). Stage 2 tested indoor and outdoor applications of TW (TWi and TWo, respectively) and LGw (LGwi and LGwo, respectively). All treatments resulted in reductions in total nitrogen and phosphate concentrations. The effluent turbidity, chemical oxygen demand, and surfactant contents of LGw + N and LGw decreased considerably after passing through the substrate. The results showed no statistical differences among the measured variables when LGw and TW received artificial fertilizers, which provided advantageous conditions for complete plant development, as evidenced by flowering. Conversely, compared with all other treatments, LGw treatment alone resulted in inferior development and exhibited some symptoms of nutritional deficiency, observed as reductions in dry biomass in the aboveground parts (range: 1.87–6.52 g) and belowground parts (10.03–36.19 g). Overall, Canna x generalis did not exhibit symptoms of toxicity and became fully developed, except for flowering, proving to be a robust species that is resistant to adverse environmental conditions, and is therefore recommended for cultivation in nature-based systems for landscaping integrated with LGw treatment and reuse.