The safety of future water supply is one of key global issues in the modern world. One of the best ways how to increase the global and nation's water resources in order to satisfy ever-growing needs of rapidly growing human population is to reuse municipal wastewater.
The recent technological advances have come to a point where the possible negative health effects of „exposure to chemical contaminants and disease-causing microbes from wastewater reuse do not exceed, and in some cases may be significantly lower than, the risks of existing water supplies.“ At least this is what the latest study by the National Research Council has to say about it.
The wastewater treatment processes have advanced significantly and wastewater reuse will sooner or later become extremely important factor in enabling adequate nation's water supply.
The wastewater reuse doesn't have to be necessarily used for drinking purposes but also for irrigation and industry.
Some communities in United States already use different wastewater reuse projects such as irrigation of golf courses and parks and reused wastewater also often provides industrial cooling water in areas close to wastewater reclamation plants.
The costs of technologies used to treat wastewater vary significantly and are mostly dependent on different on-site factors. When compared with seawater desalination and most commonly used water conservation methods wastewater reuse projects come in the middle- they are usually less expensive compared to seawater desalination and more expensive compared to most water conservation methods.
The costs will however mean very little in years to come if wastewater reuse becomes one of the most used options to ensure adequate water supply because water is the most precious resource on our planet, and something we can't live without.
We have already reached the point where our society must start to use water with care because without water there's no life, and the last thing that should be left into the legacy of our children and grandchildren are global water shortages.