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GE publishes white paper on water reuse and recycling

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

As a growing number of communities around the world are encountering acute water scarcity issues, many are turning to water recycling and reuse as solutions. To help governments find readily accessible information on policy options, GE has released a new white paper, ‘Addressing Water Scarcity through Recycling and Reuse’.

The white paper highlights four major water reuse policy options for governments to consider as they look for ways to expand water recycling and reuse: education and outreach, removing barriers, incentives, and mandates and regulations.

“Today's growing populations and economies are creating an unsustainable demand for water. By 2050, the world will demand 55% more water and 70% more energy. Municipalities and governments need to reuse more water to ensure demand equals supply. The goal of our new white paper is to help them think through their options for water recycling and reuse while providing a menu of policy options and concrete examples of how these policies are being applied around the world,” said Heiner Markhoff, President and CEO, Water and Process Technologies for GE Power & Water.

The four major water reuse policy options addressed in the white paper are:

  • Education and outreach: Education and outreach are critical to advancing water recycling. Most communities with a water recycling programme have active public education programmes to raise awareness and to help overcome any public concerns about the safety and quality of recycled water.
  • Removing barriers: Barriers to water recycling are technological, financial and regulatory, and one of the biggest barriers is a water code that does not recognise the use of recycled water. The first steps toward breaking down barriers are to set specific quality standards for recycled water and to provide guidance on the use of the reclaimed water.
  • Incentives: The most common incentive is economic, making recycled water cheaper than potable water. Other approaches are to tie water usage to conservation programmes and to exempt recycled water users from many of the community’s conservation requirements.
  • Mandates and regulations: Some communities facing severe water restrictions adopt laws requiring the use of recycled water. The two most common methods to mandating the use of recycled water are requirements targeting the supply of recycled water by regional or local wastewater treatment districts and requirements affecting the use of recycled water by residents or businesses.

Click here to download a copy of GE’s ‘Addressing Water Scarcity through Recycling and Reuse’ white paper.

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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