PerspectiveWATER QUALITY

Protecting the sewershed

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Science  18 Sep 2020:
Vol. 369, Issue 6510, pp. 1429-1430
DOI: 10.1126/science.abd0700

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Summary

Urban population growth and less-reliable precipitation patterns due to climate change are putting pressure on the drinking water supplies of cities worldwide (1). At the same time, water treatment technologies are improving and becoming cheaper. These combined conditions have led urban water supply managers to look favorably on a nontraditional drinking water source: sewage (2). Purifying sewage to meet drinking water quality standards, a process known as potable water reuse, is technically feasible and can be cost-effective for augmenting urban water supplies. For these reasons, potable water reuse systems are becoming popular in the United States, Singapore, and Australia, among other places (3).

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