Making Waves: Why water reuse frameworks need to co-evolve with emerging small-scale technologies
- Review Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Novel technologies allow to reuse or recycle water for on-site applications such as toilet flushing, showering, or hand washing at the household- or building-scale. Many of these technologies have now reached technology readiness levels that require for verification and validation testing in the field. Results from such field tests of decentralized water reuse systems have been published over the past few years, and observed performance is often compared to quality targets from water reuse frameworks (WRFs). An inspection of ten recent journal publications reveals that targets from WRFs are often misinterpreted, and the emphasis of these publications is too often on demonstrating successful aspects of the technologies rather than critically evaluating the quality of the produced water. We hypothesize that some of these misinterpretations are due to ambiguous definition of scopes of WRFs (e.g., “unrestricted urban reuse”) and unclear applicability for novel recycling systems that treat the water for applications that go beyond the reuse scopes defined in current WRFs. Additional challenges are linked to the verification of WRF quality targets in small-scale and decentralized systems under economic and organizational constraints. Current WRFs are not suitable for all possible reuse cases, and there is need for a critical discussion of quality targets and associated monitoring methods. As the scope of water reuse has expanded greatly over the past years, WRFs need to address new applications and advances in technology, including in monitoring capacities. Show more
Journal / seriesWater Research X
Pages / Article No.
SubjectOn-sitenon-potable water reuse; Decentralized; Regulatory and legal frameworks; Guidelines; Standards; Field test
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