With global warming a true reality and draught common in many states, particularly in the West and Southwest regions of the U.S., reusing water is not a new concept. But using filtered wastewater as drinking water is relatively recent.
The idea has been toyed with and dropped because of the "ick" factor. But other regions like Singapore have been using reused water, or "NEWater," for drinking water as well as irrigation and manufacturing for some time now.
(We have also discussed the concept of properly filtering water for reuse on this site. Check out this article from October, 2008 about Dean Kamen's water filter and how it could help third world countries have potable water.)
The "ick" factor is completely understandable here. But, isn't it about time that we've gotten beyond our internal gag reflex and looked at the possibilities of what new technology can offer in terms of filtering out impurities? When the levels of our rivers and streams, lakes, and wells are dwindling rapidly, now is the time to create our own "Waterworld."
See an excerpt below from yesterday's New York Times below.
As ‘Yuck Factor’ Subsides, Treated Wastewater Flows From Taps
By FELICITY BARRINGER
Published: February 9, 2012
SAN DIEGO — Almost hidden in the northern hills, the pilot water treatment plant here does not seem a harbinger of revolution. It cost $13 million, uses long-established technologies and produces a million gallons a day.
But the plant’s very existence is a triumph over one of the most stubborn problems facing the nation’s water managers: if they make clean drinking water from wastewater, will the yuck factor keep people from accepting it?
With climate change threatening to diminish water supplies in the fast-growing Southwest, more cities are considering the potential of reclaimed water. A new report from the National Academy of Sciences said that if coastal communities used advanced treatment procedures on the effluent that is now sent out to sea, it could increase the amount of municipal water available by as much as 27 percent.
To read more, click here.