Reusing Water

by Paul Schorr, Staff Specialist; New Jersey Dept. of Envir. Protection CND29, Trenton, NJ 08625,
Richard T. Dewling, Commissioner; New Jersey Dept. of Envir. Protection CND29, Trenton, NJ 08625,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1988, Vol. 58, Issue 8, Pg. 69-71

Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: The disaster wreaked by what experts are calling the worst drought to hit the U.S. in 50 years has underscored what forward thinkers have been saying: conservation, including water reuse, is critically important. With almost all of the corn belt affected, along with much of the area where wheat and other small grains are grown, the current crisis lends new weight to a statement made back in 1958 by the United Nations affiliate UNESCO: No higher quality water should be used for a purpose that can tolerate a lower grade. We've now amassed considerable data on the health effects, cost and treatability of reclaimed water. The quality of wastewater has improved, as well as our ability to analyze and detect contaminants and determine their possible effects on health. Although more information is needed on water reuse in both humid and arid climates, experts have predicted, based on available data, it may be reasonable to reuse 10 to 25% of total water consumption in regions of 5 to 10 million people. Possible uses for reclaimed water include: toilet flushing, lawn watering, landscape and agricultural irrigation, industrial cooling and processing and groundwater recharging.

Subject Headings: Drinking water | Water quality | Water reclamation | Water resources |

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