Water reclamation: recycling wastewater to cope with water stress

Drought in California

© carelbron0

“Every extra degree could reduce water resources by 20%,” according to the IPCC. California has experienced a succession of droughts of differing intensities recently. Less frequent rain and reduced water table levels, etc., have resulted in spraying restrictions, less water available for irrigation and imports of water from other regions, a solution that is costly and not environmentally-friendly. The reuse of wastewater for non-domestic use is gradually emerging as a solution for regions exposed to water stress.

© Jérôme Meyer-Bisch / SUEZ

In West Basin, California, SUEZ is helping the local authorities operate the only wastewater recycling plant (1) that is capable of producing five different qualities of water. Treatment technologies (micro-filtration, reverse osmosis, UV and peroxide) are used to produce water suitable for a range of usages:

  • Irrigation for agriculture (2) and watering public parks and gardens;
  • Water for industry: cooling water and process water for petrochemical plants, water for the high- and low-pressure boilers in the refineries in the region (3);
  • Water that is reinjected into the coastal reservoirs to act as a “hydraulic barrier” against the intrusion of salt water due to the over-exploitation of the water table in the past (4).

Find this article in the first open_resource magazine issue: “How to make the climate change ?


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