Written by Ashley Bleggi
As far back as 1926, Arizona has been a leader in the ever evolving world of water reuse. With the release of the 2019 Arizona Water and Wastewater Rates Dashboard, we want to take a look at the recent insights our surveys have uncovered, as well as the current state of reclaimed water legislation in Arizona.
Overall, about 15% of all the utilities we surveyed for 2019 provide reclaimed water. As discussed in the EFC’s 2017 Arizona Water & Wastewater Rates Report , reclaimed water is significantly cheaper to produce and sell in part due to low energy requirements. Investing in reclaimed water processes allows utilities to avoid the costs of transporting wastewater long distances to surface discharge points, or investing in costly groundwater recharge infrastructure. This trend of reclaimed rates low comparative cost continues into 2019 with the data below showing reclaimed water bills to be nearly four times cheaper than both water and irrigation charges at the same 7.5 kgal consumption level. Continue reading
How the Use of Reclaimed Water Can Help Conserve Millions of Gallons of Water Every Year.
Ryan is a fellow in the 2018 Leaders in Environment and Finance (LEAF) program. As part of this fellowship, Ryan spent summer 2018 assisting UNC Energy Services in evaluating irrigation supply options to expand the reclaimed water mains at UNC-Chapel Hill to help reduce the school’s potable water intake and reduce expenditure on utility services.
It’s no news to readers of the Environmental Finance Blog that clean water is a precious, finite resource. During the years 2001-2002 and 2007-2008, North Carolina experienced the worst droughts ever recorded in state history. After the severe drought in 2001-2002, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill partnered with the Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) to evaluate the feasibility of using reclaimed water at UNC-Chapel Hill, resulting in a partnership to build a reclaimed water system.
The reclaimed water treatment facility is located at the OWASA wastewater treatment plant, and a pipeline to campus allows the University to reduce the use of potable water for non-potable uses, and leave more potable water for human consumption. But what is reclaimed water and how can it benefit a community? Continue reading
Guest Post by Lars Hanson
For utilities across the country, water reuse has been attracting a great deal of attention recently, and with good reason. As utilities and the communities they serve grow and mature, they find themselves managing increasing pressures relating to water availability, competition, customer service needs, and evolving regulations. These pressures require the Water Resources Utility of the Future to begin paying more attention to the interrelated nature of the core water management functions, including water supply and treatment, wastewater collection and treatment, stormwater management, and flooding and flow management. In addition to more coordinated planning, new ways of managing water will be needed to coordinate these functions. Water reuse is one water management tool that allows linking these functions, while also potentially providing a financial return when reclaimed water is sold.
But what is water reuse anyway? Water reuse, often referred to as water recycling or water reclamation (and hopefully not ‘toilet-to-tap’), is a general term referring to the treatment of a ‘used’ water source followed by subsequent beneficial use. Simple enough, but that definition perhaps oversimplifies the huge range of water reuse system concepts, and why water reuse projects are built.