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What is Water Reclamation?


Water Reclamation Concepts and Programs

Water reclamation, or the concept that water is a resource that can be used more than once, is an important part of the world's expanding emphasis on water conservation. Because all uses of water do not require the same quality of supply, many cities have developed water reclamation programs to use reclaimed water for suitable landscaping and industrial uses.

Water reclamation programs can often produce quality water in a volume capable of meeting the landscaping needs of an entire city. Often used to irrigate golf courses, parks, roadside plantings and other property maintained by cities, reclaimed water can play a crucial role in the beautification of a city. Owners of agricultural areas and farms also stands to benefit use of reclaimed water, which can often cost less to irrigate with than when using a typical water supply.

Industrial use of reclaimed water can also be economically beneficial as well as environmentally wise, as reclaimed water can be used to supply cooling to power plants, swamp coolers, generators or other large industrial systems that require cooling.

Conserving Combined with Reclaiming

Half of all Americans and more than ninety five percent of rural Americans get their household water supplies from underground sources of water, or groundwater. The development of groundwater protection programs at federal and state levels has been important in securing protection of this resource. However because groundwater supplies and conditions vary from one area to another, the responsibility for effectively reclaiming a community’s local supply rests substantially with the local community. Groundwater also is used for about half of America's agricultural irrigation and nearly one-third of the nation's industrial needs. This makes groundwater a vitally important national resource, and protection, conservation and reclaiming this resource with an emphasis on quality control is crucial. Reclaiming groundwater as well as surfacewater will prove to be more and more important as society continues to expand and grows.

All communities rely on a supply of clean groundwater or surfacewater, and all people can be directly affected by the success or failure of a conservation or treatment program. Plans to further develop these facilities are often limited by the high cost of pumping plants and distribution facilities that are required to deliver it from the treatment plants to the customers. Our groundwater supply often has been taken for granted, especially in cities established in arid desert climates. Periodic droughts, conservation measures and ongoing programs serve to remind us that the responsibility to conserve belongs to all of us.


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