Understanding Water Reuse

In communities all around the world, water supplies are coming under increasing pressure as population growth, climate change, pollution, and changes in land use affect water quantity and quality. To address existing and anticipated water shortages, many communities are working to increase water conservation and are seeking alternative sources of water. Water reuse — the sue of treated wastewater, or “reclaimed” water, for beneficial purposes such as drinking, irrigation, or industrial uses — is one option that has helped some communities significantly expand their water supplies.

The booklet Understanding Water Reuse summarizes the main findings of the National Research Council report Water Reuse: Expanding the Nation’s Water Supply Through Reuse of Municipal Wastewater. The report provides an overview of the options and outlook for water reuse in the United States, discusses water treatment technologies and potential uses of reclaimed water, and presents a new analysis that compares the risks of drinking reclaimed water to those of drinking water from traditional sources.

Download a PDF of the Understanding Water Reuse booklet

Read the booklet online

Order copies of the booklet

A website was produced in conjunction with the booklet. In addition to the content of the booklet, at the website you will also find:

  • an archive of a question-and-answer session with the report authoring committee’s chair
  • additional charts and data that could not be included in the booklet
  • an animated diagram showing some of the possibilities for reusing municipal wastewater

Click here to visit the website now.

And for even more information on water reuse, you can download or buy the report on which this booklet and website are based, Water Reuse: Potential for Expanding the Nation’s Water Supply Through the Reuse of Municipal Wastewater.