Degraded water reuse: An overview

G. A. O'Connor, Herschel Adams Elliott, R. K. Bastian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Communities around the world face increasingly severe fresh water supply shortages, largely due to expanding populations and associated food supply, economic development, and health issues. Intentional reuse of degraded waters (e.g., wastewater effluents, irrigation return flows, concentrated animal feeding operations [CAFO] effluents, stormwater, and graywater) as substitutes for fresh waters could be one solution to the challenge. We describe the various degraded water types and reuse options and limitations and restrictions to their use. Emphasis is given to reuse scenarios involving degraded water applications to soil. The potential for degraded water reuse is enormous, but significant barriers exist to widespread adoption. Barriers include research questions (some addressable by traditional soil science approaches, but others requiring novel techniques and advanced instrumentation), the lack of unifying national regulations, and public acceptance. Educational programs, based on hard science developed from long-term field studies, are imperative to convince the public and elected officials of the wisdom and safety of reusing degraded waters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Volume37
Issue numberSUPPL. 5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2008

Fingerprint

Water
water
Effluents
effluent
Food supply
Soils
soil science
food supply
stormwater
instrumentation
Water supply
Irrigation
economic development
water supply
water reuse
irrigation
safety
Animals
Wastewater
wastewater

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Cite this

O'Connor, G. A. ; Elliott, Herschel Adams ; Bastian, R. K. / Degraded water reuse : An overview. In: Journal of Environmental Quality. 2008 ; Vol. 37, No. SUPPL. 5.
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Degraded water reuse : An overview. / O'Connor, G. A.; Elliott, Herschel Adams; Bastian, R. K.

In: Journal of Environmental Quality, Vol. 37, No. SUPPL. 5, 01.09.2008.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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