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The United Nations projects an increase in urban population by 50% globally over the next 20 years. The demand for water to meet domestic, commercial, industrial, and agricultural needs will undoubtedly multiply. To meet these needs, communities are increasingly looking toward alternative sources of supply such as water reuse and the desalination of seawater and brackish groundwater.

Accordingly, the WateReuse Foundation surveyed Subscribers and Stakeholders in October 2006 to determine the top 10 priority issues facing the water reuse and desalination communities. Among those polled included water utilities, consultants, university researchers, regulators, and federal/state employees. Among the 10 priority questions generated by these groups were:

How do we slow down the salt buildup in arid lands while using all available water sources?

How can we use risk assessment as an aid to regulatory criteria?

How do we connect tomorrow's water with tomorrow's energy?

The results of the survey were then used as guidance for the 2006 Water Reuse and Desalination Research Needs Workshop. At this workshop, the WateReuse Foundation convened 65 professionals in San Diego, CA on November 28–30 to generate priority research ideas for the next 2–3 years. Among the topic areas covered at the workshop included Policy, Social Sciences, and Institutional Issues; Microbiology and Disinfection; Chemistry and Toxicology; and Treatment Technologies for Water Reuse and Desalination.

This paper not only focuses on the results from the survey, but also on the leading edge research ideas generated at the workshop. These research projects will, in turn, better equip the water reuse and desalination communities to address the current challenges in water reuse and desalination.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2007

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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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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