Rising Awareness about Implications of Wastewater on Environment Driving Global Wastewater Recycle and Reuse Market
Despite a long history of reuse of wastewater in many regions across the globe, the question of the safety of processed and purified water still remains an enigma for the general public. Whatever the level of sophistication of water purifying technique or the number of steps in the overall process may be, there always are controversies among proponents of wastewater reuse schemes and researchers about the quality standards the wastewater is to meet. Overall, the concern regarding public health is the major issue related to reuse of any type of wastewater, be it for industrial purposes or for irrigation use, especially the impact of reuse practices on public health in a long-term scenario. Thus, the matter is hotly debated across the globe.
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Nevertheless, there are so many benefits related to the practice of reuse of wastewater that it’s hard to ignore. Especially in current times, as the global population further swells and water shortage becomes a serious issue due to drought conditions and groundwater depletion in many regions, attempts are being increasingly made to find out more efficient ways of treating wastewater less like sewage and more like a resource. There are plenty of reasons why the water recycle and reuse industry is expected to be one of the most important markets of the future. Some of these are mentioned below:
· Opportunity to Augment Limited Primary Water Sources: Especially in places that have arid or semi-arid climatic conditions, reuse of wastewater can help provide a supplementary source to the limited existing water sources. Across the globe, the majority of large-scale reuse schemes are located in regions such as Israel, South Africa, and arid parts of the U.S., where alternative water sources are limited.
· Possibility of Managing In-situ Water Sources: Water recycling and reuse, if done efficiently, is considered a method of water resources management. A point in case is the topping up of depleted aquifers by injecting highly treated water, thereby restoring aquifer yields or preventing chances of saltwater intrusion in coastal areas.
· Elimination or Reduction of Wastewater Discharge into Receiving Environment: The damage wastewater does to the environment is probably the most pressing concern that has motivated the development of a number of wastewater treatment and reuse plants across the globe. The discharge of treated or untreated wastewater into the environment is, in many cases, detrimental to the ecosystem in the receiving environment, such as natural water bodies.
With proper treatment, reuse, and recycling, the discharge of wastewater to the environment can be either totally avoided or be made less harmful to the environment. Concerns regarding the many toxic pollutants in wastewater, especially the wastewater generated from high-risk industries such as nuclear power generation and many other chemical industries, will continue to drive the market for water reuse and recycling in the future years as well.
Reuse and recycling of water has many direct and indirect socioeconomic implications. With government bodies and communities becoming more aware of the quality of wastewater disposed into sensitive environments, political pressure on the water industry for treating waste water to a higher level of purity before its discharge is also increasing. As a result of all these factors and the many more benefits of wastewater recycling and reuse, the global market for reuse and recycling of wastewater will expand at a significant pace in the future.