Established in 1970, The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) is the nation's leading advocate for responsible policies focused on advancing clean water and a healthy environment, including the landmark Clean Water Act. The NACWA works closely with the government, members of congress, and the EPA in legislative and regulatory matters, among many other things. You can also find the NACWA on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and YouTube.
Rivers are the main source of clean water for Americans, and American Rivers is dedicated to advocating for the protection, repair, and conservation of America's rivers through a variety of efforts, projects, and annual campaigns. You can also find out more about American Rivers on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Established in 1881, the American Water Works Association (AWWA) is the nation's largest non-profit, scientific, and educational association focused on the management and treatment of water as a vital resource. The AWWA not only advocates for safe and sustainable water supplies, but is also involved in providing knowledge and education to water professionals. You can connect with the AWWA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Linkedin, Pinterest, and YouTube.
The WERF is a non-profit and the leading independent scientific research organization funded by its subscribers and the government, focused on wastewater and stormwater issues. They provide comprehensive and valuable research and results which benefit government agencies, private companies involved in the industry, and environmental professionals, among others. The WERF can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.
Established in 1972, Clean Water Action is a non-profit environmental advocacy group. They focus on advocating for clean, safe, and affordable water; preventing pollution; and the creation of environmentally safe jobs and businesses. You can also get in touch with Clean Water Action via Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
EcoWatch reports on the U.S. Geological Survey's decision to include human-induced earthquakes and what it means going forward.
Blue and Green tomorrow reports on the White House Water Summit and what it hopes to accomplish across municipalities and states in cooperation with its partners.
Carolyn Lochhead writes about a new housing development with a unique, Australian-designed technology and how it might spark a new trend that would help residents and the states to better combat the effects of climate change.
Eclectablog's Chris Savage reports on the Obama administration's report on investments in water system infrastructure upgrades and conservation, along with a damning indictment of Michigan's local government with regard to its handling of the Flint water crisis.
The Long Island Press's Rich Murdocco comments on the Governor's plans and what else needs to be done to address the region's growing issues with its water supply.
As populations grow and put added strain on the natural resources available to them just to go on with their day-to-day, authorities recognize the constantly-growing need to ensure that adequate supplies are available, clean water being one of the most important (if not the most important). With the added challenges of growing industries, climate change issues, budget, and political will, water reclamation and reuse is – while the benefits are fairly obvious – a challenge.
That said, there are places and countries that have taken the lead – or at least have made significant strides – in making good use of water reclamation technologies and have benefited greatly from it.
Let's look at three of them:
Specifically, the capital city of Windhoek, which lies in the center of Namibia. It has no natural sources of water available to it other than the underground water of the Windhoek Aquifer. The city has been recycling water since 1968 via the Goreangab Reclamation Plant, which today is capable of producing up to 60% of the city's water supply, and does provide about 20-25% of the city's clean drinking water. Windhoek is recognized as one of the notable pioneers in effective water reclamation in the world, which has also let the city weather a severe drought in 2013 relatively unscathed.
Israel is considered the global leader in the re-usage and reclamation of wastewater, and the Middle-Eastern country also makes extensive use of seawater desalination. Israel's National Water Company and its infrastructure and numerous desalinization and reclamation plants enable it to treat 40% of all of Israel's wastewater and provide 70% of the treated water for agricultural use. Overall, Israel treats 80% of its sewage (and 100% of the sewage from Tel Aviv), with much of the resulting reclaimed water being used for agriculture and public works.
Being the island nation that it is, Singapore faces the challenge of supporting a dense population on a relatively small amount of land and – quite understandably – fairly limited natural resources. Providing an ample supply of clean water for its residents and visitors is a particular concern, and for the longest time, Singapore has had to import water from Malaysia.
Impressively, Singapore has one of the most holistic approaches to water reclamation – its approach involves legislation, enforcement, public education, and research and development, with the goal of water self-sufficiency in the coming years. They've done this through extensive research and study, and are constantly investing in infrastructure that allows them to reclaim wastewater and sewage, as well as desalinize a not-insignificant quantity of water. The result is potable water that exceeds the requirements set by the World Health Organization – so good that's even marketed under its own brand: NEWater. Recent data shows that Singapore's NEWater is able to provide about 30% of the country's water requirements, and desalinated sea water about 25%. As Singapore continues to study and invest in water reclamation infrastructure, this only looks to increase in the near future.
More and more cities, states, and countries are looking into getting further into water reclamation – such as California, Texas, and Australia – due to the economic and environmental benefits it offers. Regardless of whether a city or country has a pressing need for it or not, the benefits of water reclamation (even if it's just greywater to start with) outweigh any downsides people may perceive it as having – if not now, in the future, inevitably.