California Studies Standards for Recycled Drinking Water
Seeking to better manage its water resources throughout the drought, California has commissioned a panel of experts to look into creating regulations for recycled drinking water, produced through a process called direct potable reuse (DPR).
News Deeply describes DPR, which other California cities have called "drought-proof," as a process in which "wastewater is treated for drinking and then piped directly to customers without first being mixed in a reservoir or groundwater aquifer." The site spoke to Jeffrey Mosher of the National Water Research Institute, who heads the panel, about the benefits and challenges of implementing DPR throughout the state. He explains:
In California the drought has put pressure on our traditional or existing supplies, whether it’s surface water or groundwater. Potable reuse, including DPR, provides a lot of advantages in the sense that it’s local – you don’t have to bring it in through a long pipeline or aqueduct.
The panel and a separate group of stakeholders will both submit reports late this month, and the State Water Resources Board will officially decide whether to develop criteria for DPR before the year's end.