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Water Reuse in Future Cities

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New York City's aspiration to achieve high levels of environmental performance resulted in adoption of the progressive PlaNYC 2030 document which establishes clear goals, suggests creative methods and drives a city-wide cooperative sustainability effort that touches all City agencies and provides guidance to developers and community groups alike. Water reuse stands out as one shining example where Environmental Development Guidelines, friendly permit rules and financial incentives together provide a pathway for confident implementation of innovative high performance infrastructure that is demonstrating dramatic water savings and waste discharge reductions. Currently with six wastewater reuse systems operating and more under construction, these privately financed, built and operated decentralized systems have reduced water consumption by 50% and waste discharge by 63% in new high value real estate developments which has subsequently lead to proposals for retrofitting existing neighborhoods. Rising costs for water and wastewater services together with a Comprehensive Water Reuse Incentive Program have shifted the economics of water reuse while interagency cooperation has removed the barriers.
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Keywords: Water; closed loop; decentralized; distributed; greywater; low impact development; open loop; rainwater capture; recycling; reuse; soft path; sustainable infrastructure; wastewater

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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