Water Conservation Limits Wastewater Reuse

Luckmann J, Grethe H, McDonald S. When water saving limits recycling: Modelling economy-wide linkages of wastewater use. Water Research. 2016 Jan 1;88:972-80. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2015.11.004.

The reclamation of wastewater is an increasingly important water source in parts of the world. It is claimed that wastewater recycling is a cheap and reliable form of water supply, which preserves water resources and is economically efficient. However, the quantity of reclaimed wastewater depends on water consumption by economic agents connected to a sewage system. This study uses a Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model to analyse such a cascading water system. A case study of Israel shows that failing to include this linkage can lead to an overestimation of the potential of wastewater recycling, especially when economic agents engage in water saving.

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