Expensive and harmful desalination plants, more dams, building more canals, extracting water from the air, towing icebergs from the Arctic and other crazy ideas are all inferior to the simplest solution of all – re-use our water.
There is no more or less water in the
world, we just need to learn how to
re-use it. Less than one-half of one
percent of California’s water is recycled.
Fortunately, Orange County is the
world leader in water recycling.
There is a reason Orange County is in a better position than our neighbors in Los Angeles and San Diego.
The Orange County Water District is the county’s largest and supplies 77 percent of the water to 2.5 million of Orange County’s 3.2 million residents. The OCWD is already the largest water recycler in the world. By sometime in 2023 the water provider will up their offer even more and be able to supply about one million of those customers with clean, healthy, recycled drinking water. OCWD’s Indirect Water Recycling program is already nearly four times larger than the world’s second-largest sewer-to-drinking-water facility, in Singapore. Congratulations OCWD!
What’s next? Storm water capture and re-use is a good place to start. All we need to do is invest in the infrastructure and gain the political will to do it. The need to re-use our water seems obvious.
We have sourced the information below to help you
understand more about water conservation.
Part of the solution is to fund the construction of more facilities that can recycle the wastewater that flows out of our sinks, toilets, dishwashers and showers. The process is actually rather simple. A treatment facility takes in wastewater and adds microbes that consume the organic matter. The water is then pumped through special membranes that filter out bacteria and viruses.
To be extra sure, the water is blasted with UV light to kill any remaining microbes. The resulting water is so pure that the facility has to add a few minerals back. In Orange County the recycled water is then sent underground into aquifers, then pumped out again when needed, purified once more, and sent to customers.
Want to learn more? Here is a great article describing Orange County’s state-of-the-art Indirect Water Recycling Program.
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