When California began treating its wastewater to reuse for drinking water purposes in the mid 1970’s they were met with a lot of backlash from their residents. People were not comfortable consuming water that they knew was once sewage. Although many people’s opinions have not changed, water shortages and scarcity are causing municipalities to use new, unconventional methods, such as recycling wastewater, capturing stormwater, and recharging aquifers to provide its citizens with the water they need. Nations such as Australia, Israel, and Namibia are all places that have began to adopt wastewater reuse programs. Israel is leading the world by reusing nearly 90% of its waste water.
These new methods are proving to be more reliable, being that they eliminate factors, such as climate change and droughts; which are virtually unpredictable. Urban wastewater levels remain relatively constant. This also allows municipalities to predict how much water they will be treating and storing to use at later times.
The repurposing of waste, and storm water have made the traditional practice of using dams, and reservoirs less practical. Recycled water uses a more localized approach, treating water from nearby and using it in that same area, unlike water from distant dams, local storage and recycling practices don’t require pumping over long distances, making them more energy efficient. This results in water being delivered at prices lower than the water delivered from dams.