Water Reuse To Achieve Resiliency

Jun 16, 2022 9:00 AM ET
Article

As the economy-wide shift toward sustainability continues with rapid speed, water utilities increasingly are focusing efforts on reinforcing resiliency of water supply. In this effort, water reuse is becoming their tool of choice. As utilities across the nation consider how to fit reuse into their operations, advances in technology and public understanding support holistic solutions even as regulation evolves, explain Black & Veatch’s Zeynep Erdal and Nick Burns in a recent article for Water Environment & Technology.

As Erdal and Burns write in the article, “regulations can be a hindrance or enabler; absence and over-regulation are both potential roadblocks for implementing reuse.” Despite the uncertainty, adoption of reuse technologies is on the rise.

Driven by climate change and resilience, nutrients and watershed issues, drought and supply reliability, and water quality issues, utilities are taking advantage of the range of water reuse strategies and technologies on the market. Some of the most exciting new developments include treatment intensification, system integration, fit-for-purpose technology use, and optimization and energy-efficient technologies.

For water utilities considering adoption of reuse strategies and systems, extensive piloting and close regulatory coordination can help to garner positive results, according to Erdal and Burns. Doing so can enhance public understanding and aid in gaining regulatory approvals.

With so many factors driving reuse and even more technologies available for implementation, now is the time for utilities to integrate reuse strategies into their operations.

“This is truly the golden age for reuse,” write Erdal and Burns in Water Environment & Technology. “…Holistic approaches to water management in combination with new technology allow cost-effective resource management through tailored solutions.”