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In recognition of the existing and impending stress to traditional water supply, water planners must look beyond structural developments and interbasin water transfers to secure supply into the future. In this process, it is becoming evident that various issues related to water must be integrated into a whole system approach, including water supply, water use, wastewater treatment, stormwater management, and management of surrounding water environment. In bringing disparate water assets together, alternatives to traditional water supply should arise. Integrated water resources management can provide a realistic framework for examining the feasibility of water reuse. This paper evaluates how water reuse can become a strategic alternative in water resources management. The key challenges that limit water reclamation as one of the key elements in integrated water resources management scheme are discussed, including limitations with typical centralized wastewater treatment systems and public health protection, particularly the implications of trace contaminants. The key considerations to address these challenges are presented including (1) selection of appropriate treatment processes and reuse applications, (2) scientific and engineering solutions to emerging concerns, (3) consideration for cost effective and sustainable system, and (4) public acceptance. Recent water reclamation projects are presented to illustrate the response of the engineering community to the challenges of making water reclamation and reuse a real and sustainable solution to water supply system management planning.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2005

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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