Wastewater recycling technology: the answer to water scarcity

Over 663 million people across the world don’t have access to clean drinking water. We’ll have 40 percent less potable water than what we’ll need in 2030. With growing populations relying on shrinking freshwater sources, it’s imperative that we, as a species, get serious about sustainability and prudent use of our dwindling water reserves. While we’ll need to do whatever we can to stretch existing sources, recycling the copious amounts of wastewater we’re producing right now could go a long way toward addressing our growing demand for clean water. The emergence of viable and scalable technologies that can do just that has made it a serious possibility, within our lifetime. Several countries across the world are doing more than just dabbling in wastewater recycling right now. Singapore, Israel, Spain, a few Scandinavian countries, as well as the United States recycle a significant portion of the wastewater they generate. Recycled wastewater is generally disposed of in larger bodies of water (seas, rivers, ponds, etc.) or used for gardening, cleaning, as well as for industrial applications. Israel is a world leader in wastewater treatment; around 85 percent of their wastewater is treated and recycled for ruse in sectors like agriculture. Singapore, Australia and the US (especially California) generate significant amounts of portable water though wastewater recycling. Still, very little (probably less than two percent) of recycled wastewater is used as potable water….

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