Water Reclamation and Recycling
As our population continues to grow, many begin to raise questions about how (or even if it’s possible) to provide enough water to support this rapidly growing population. With our population recently reaching 7 Billion, it seems that finding the answer to this has become such an imperative as to be compared to our global energy crisis. As more and more research is conducted, one viable answer seems to keep resurfacing, water reclamation. While many proponents of water recycling oppose this (most of those proponents being the ones who benefit from the desalination process), the data points to this not only being too energy intensive, but also not being sufficient to create enough water to be significant on a global scale. The end result of all this research seems to indicate that mass scale reclaimed water use, coupled with extensive conservation policies, as the golden bullet for our planet.
There are many benefits of using reclaimed water, including many examples where the implementation of water recycling facilities has proven to be safe and successful. The first success story that comes to mind is the Irvine Ranch Water District. Several high-rise office buildings in the Irvine Ranch Water District have been outfitted with dual piping systems. These dual piping systems have separate piping for toilets, and have decreased the potable water demand for these buildings by as much as 75%. Other instances of the safe use of reclaimed water occur all throughout California. In 1998, Monterey County began irrigation with reclaimed water, including 12,000 acres of vegetables such as lettuce, strawberries, cauliflower, artichokes, celery, fennel, and broccoli, which continues to this day (Data Instincts). Often times, despite public misgivings about reusing water (the process dubbed “toilet to tap” by those who oppose its use), recycled can be as clean or even cleaner than other water sources. Right here in Orange...
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