Water Recycling: Creating Jobs through Local Water Supplies
Water recycling is a proven water supply technology that is of tremendous value to communities suffering from drought or in need of a secure and reliable source of "new" water. In the western United States, the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation administers the Title XVI (Water Reclamation and Reuse) Program for water recycling projects. Title XVI is successful because most projects start at the local level.
Water recycling is the treatment and management of municipal wastewater to produce non-potable water suitable for reuse. Recycled water can be used for irrigation of golf courses, parks, school grounds, business campuses, highway medians, and for groundwater recharge, wetlands development, and industrial purposes.
Why Does the West Need Water Recycling?
Developed water supplies are being strained in the United States as the result of a variety of circumstances, including a growing population, environmental improvements, and drought. Long-term projections in some states indicate that water demand will exceed existing water supplies unless new water sources are developed soon. Some view water technologies, such as water recycling, as a primary means of developing new and reliable water supplies in water-stressed areas. Last year alone, Title XVI projects produced an estimated quarter of a million acre-feet of water in 2010.
Examples of Title XVI projects: