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Toilet to tap? Some in drought-prone California say it’s time

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By Devika G. Bansal Bay Area News Group 

As drought and water shortages become California’s new normal, more and more of the water that washes down drains and flushes down toilets is being cleaned and recycled for outdoor irrigation. But some public officials, taking cues from countries where water scarcity is a fact of life, want to take it further and make treated wastewater available for much more — even drinking. “This is a potential new source of water for California,” said former Assemblyman Rich Gordon. “We need to find water where we can.”

….Water recycling is more the norm in countries like Singapore, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Australia, which have long had water shortages. Israel reclaims about 80 percent of its wastewater, while Singapore reclaims almost 100 percent. The reclaimed water is extensively used to irrigate agricultural lands and recharge aquifers in Israel, while most of Singapore’s water is used for industrial purposes.


….To address the public perception issue, former Assemblyman Gordon was able to pass Assembly Bill 2022 last year. It enables water agencies in the state to distribute bottles of advanced purified recycled water for educational purposes….

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