August 22, 2011
Toilet to Tap: Dry Weather Forces Recycling of Sewage Water in Texas
By Chad Love
It's hard to overstate just how pernicious and devastating the effects of the ongoing drought in the southern plains have been. Lakes and rivers are drying up, city water supplies are dwindling, fish and wildlife are suffering and Texas alone has suffered over $5 billion in agricultural losses. Many are now asking if the drought is part of a paradigm shift in how we view water usage and conservation in this country. How much of a paradigm? Many cities are now actively looking at recycling wastewater into drinking water.
From this story in the Christian Science Monitor:
This summer, Texas' drought of the century is an uncomfortable reminder that often there just isn't enough water to go around. But the 40 consecutive days of triple-digit temperatures and minuscule rainfall may also be boosting the case for a new freshwater source being developed in Big Spring, Texas, and surrounding cities.
With a waste-water-to-drinking-water treatment plant now under construction, Big Spring will soon join the growing list of cities that use recycled sewage water for drinking water ˆ a practice that the squeamish call "toilet to tap." The trend is expanding as climbing temperatures and dry weather across the West force environmentalists, politicians, and citizens to find newer, better solutions to freshwater resources.
No water for fishing, no water for hunting, no water for growing food and increasingly, no water for drinking. Thoughts? If "toilet to tap" meant more water for recreational needs like hunting and fishing, would you be willing to do it? Anyone drinking recycled wastewater already?