Reclaimed Water for Public Water Supply Purposes

AWWA recognizes the need for reliable and sustainable water supply resources in light of factors such as drought, competition with other users, population growth, climate change impacts, ecological needs, and limited natural availability. With proper planning and coordination, wastewater reclamation produced through appropriate treatment, monitoring, and control can be a resource for broadening the water supply portfolio of utilities.

AWWA recognizes the value of high quality reclaimed wastewater - properly treated to appropriate standards - as a sustainable supplement to a region’s water supply portfolio. Reclaiming wastewater to augment supplies used for irrigation, industrial, ecological, and municipal uses within a public drinking water supplier’s service area has been successful in many places. Additionally, reclaiming water from wastewater for direct or indirect potable uses such as augmenting finished water, replenishing drinking water sources, maintaining aquifer levels, and increasing stream flow can be a viable option with the appropriate level of treatment and safeguards to protect public health.

AWWA encourages the cost-effective and efficient use of all potable and non-potable water regardless of origin or purpose. AWWA encourages continued research to improve reuse treatment technology and water quality management, refine monitoring techniques, and expand applications to further the increased and safe use of reclaimed water for the public.

AWWA encourages expanding water supply portfolios for communities through the use of reclaimed water where cost-effective, environmentally sound, and protective of downstream users. AWWA encourages water and wastewater utilities to coordinate planning of reclaimed water facilities and use.

Practices specified in this policy statement are consistent with other pertinent AWWA policy statements.

Adopted by the Board of Directors June 18, 1971, and revised June 25, 1978, Jan. 26, 1986, 
Jan. 22, 1995, June 13, 2004, Jan 17, 2010, Jan. 19, 2014, and June 2018.