Review

Taking the “Waste” Out of “Wastewater” for Human Water Security and Ecosystem Sustainability

Science  10 Aug 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6095, pp. 681-686
DOI: 10.1126/science.1216852

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Abstract

Humans create vast quantities of wastewater through inefficiencies and poor management of water systems. The wasting of water poses sustainability challenges, depletes energy reserves, and undermines human water security and ecosystem health. Here we review emerging approaches for reusing wastewater and minimizing its generation. These complementary options make the most of scarce freshwater resources, serve the varying water needs of both developed and developing countries, and confer a variety of environmental benefits. Their widespread adoption will require changing how freshwater is sourced, used, managed, and priced.

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