Cities consider recycling wastewater to use as drinking water

By Greg Hahne
Associated Press contributed to this report
Published: Thursday, November 11, 2021 - 11:27am
Updated: Thursday, November 11, 2021 - 6:34pm
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The western United States is facing extreme drought. This is leading to some cities to look for alternative sources for drinking water. 

Water sources like the Colorado River are facing strains due to drought and overuse. But some cities in the west are looking into opportunities to recycle wastewater into drinking water.

Cities are already required to send treated wastewater back to its source so other communities can keep using the same water.

Arizona already has a permanent plant in Scottsdale that uses membranes, UV light, and reverse osmosis to treat wastewater into a drinkable form.

The bipartisan infrastructure bill includes $1 billion designed to fund water reuse projects. And the reconciliation package currently being debated has over $100 million in grants to fund alternative water sources. 

The U.S. Drought Monitor has more than 90% of the West still facing some form of drought. While many are hoping for a wet winter to bring some relief, that’s not in Arizona’s forecast.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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