As existing water resources become more strained and harder to come by, new sources of water must be developed. One such source is reclaimed water from municipal and industrial wastewater sources that can be treated to a variety of standards based on its intended use. These different uses can include irrigation and industrial uses that may not require water treated to potable standards. This fit-for-purpose model is intended to ensure that the right treatment process is applied for the intended use without expending unnecessary funds, energy, greenhouse gases, and other social and environmental costs.
For potable uses, municipal wastewater can also be treated to such standards using a selection of advanced treatment processes through either direct or indirect potable reuse. The Water Reuse Focus Group was formed to investigate more efficient membranes and other novel treatment processes to decrease energy usage and treatment costs, real-time monitoring of contaminants using advanced sensors, and other technologies aimed at making water reuse more widespread.