Water recycling (or water reclamation) involves treating municipal wastewater to remove sediments and impurities for reuse. As demand for water increases, techniques for recycling and reuse of water become more attractive. Using recycled water reduces reliance on increasingly scarce and expensive surface water and can minimize groundwater overdraft (extracting more water than is replenished.) Additionally, as a direct result of water recycling, discharges of treated wastewater into rivers and the ocean are reduced. Recycled water also has the advantage of being a local, drought-resistant supply – a key selling point in semi-arid states like California.
Water recycling and reuse plays an important role in California’s overall water supply and management program.
Historically, the major reuse has been for crop and landscape irrigation. Water recycling and reuse plays an important role in California’s overall water supply and management program. This state is a national leader in reclamation research and promotes water recycling and reuse wherever it is appropriate. Some members of the public, however, remain concerned about the potential health problems associated with the widespread use of recycled water. However, greater technological advances and investment are returning impressive yields as agencies demonstrate the ability to treat wastewater and use it to replenish groundwater.