Monday, June 30, 2014

The March of The Effluent Society

From the New York TimesRecycled Water Is Critical by Melissa Meeker:
"One key reason that water reuse is not a bigger part of the nation’s water supply is that it is still characterized as a waste product in most places. In a progressive move, California recently enacted legislation that reclassifies recycled water as a water resource. The state government also recently streamlined the permitting process for using recycled water for irrigation and allocated $200 million in grants to encourage related projects.
There are success stories in other parts of the country as well. Communities in dry west Texas have used state-of-the-art technology to augment their drinking water supply with reused water; the governor of Oklahoma just signed a law to encourage water reuse; and Florida’s most recent water reuse report indicated that 719 million gallons of water is beneficially reused each day in 2013 — the largest amount in the country.
But the amount of water intentionally reused in America is still quite low and it will stay that way as long as the public regards reuse as an emergency measure. Americans have embraced “sustainability” in so many aspects of modern life, but not when it comes to water resources.
Conservation cannot meet future water demands alone and other measures that create new sources of water, like desalination, are still more expensive. Water reuse is the easiest and most economical fix. It should be included in the water supply portfolio of every community."

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