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Water Recycling and Reuse to Combat Looming Droughts

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Jane Marsh's picture

Jane Marsh is the Editor-in-Chief of She covers topics related to climate policy, sustainability, renewable energy and more.

  • Member since 2020
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  • Feb 8, 2022

California experienced its longest drought period in the 2000s. It lasted nearly a decade and adversely affected the local ecosystem. As the global temperature rises, more regions are experiencing extended dry spells.

Environmentalists are searching for effective prevention methods to reduce freshwater exploitation. They also focus on targeting climate change to minimize global water displacement. Ecological engineers are using renewable energy and advanced filtration technologies to combat looming droughts.

Increasing Risk of Droughts

Global temperatures rise and the ecosystem changes as greenhouse gas emissions continue polluting the atmosphere. The temperature shift increases local evaporation rates. High rates enhance precipitation in some regions, but they cause prolonged droughts in other areas.

California experiences decreased precipitation rates, which adversely impact vital industries like agriculture. Dry regions also struggle to provide their residents with sufficient quantities of drinking water. Environmental professionals developed water recycling and reuse systems to minimize dehydration and other health limitations.

Solar-Powered Water Recycling

Many companies in drought-ridden regions are adopting solar water distillation systems to access abundant water supplies. The technology connects to contaminated supplies. Panels cover the water source and force pure vapors into a still.

Solar energy heats the contaminated water supply and removes impurities. People can utilize the supply for consumption, cleaning, agriculture, manufacturing and more, depending on the level of purification.

Regions can also save money by utilizing solar distillation technology. Currently, solar is the most cost-effective energy source on the market. Combining water purification efforts with renewable technology increases access to vital resources while preserving the global ecosystem.

Greywater Treatment

Individuals may also utilize greywater treatment systems to access nonpotable resources from local supplies. The technology purifies less contaminated water from sinks, washing machines, baths and other sources of non-fecal exposure. Residents and business owners can connect greywater treatment systems to their properties, collecting and repurposing 100% of their wastewater.

Rainwater Harvesting Systems

Another device helping individuals access clean water without exploiting natural resources is a rainwater harvesting system. They collect stormwater runoff from snowmelt and rain in barrels. An internal pump transfers the liquid directly to irrigation systems or through an advanced filter.

The filtration systems convert stormwater into a purified resource for drinking, cleaning, bathing and other functions. Using rainwater harvesting systems decreases freshwater exploitation and limits eutrophication.

Stormwater carries pesticides, synthetic fertilizers and other contaminants to the sea as it runs off a property. The agricultural additives contain nitrogen and phosphorus, which create algal blooms in the ocean. As algae grow, they deplete aquatic oxygen levels and destroy natural habitats. Eutrophication displaces marine life and increases their risk of endangerment.

People that use rainwater harvesting systems create an abundant water supply and protect marine life.

Overcoming Societal Misconceptions

One of the challenges limiting water reclamation’s expansion is society’s perception. Many people feel uncomfortable consuming treated wastewater. The idea of drinkable water deriving from sewage or waste minimizes its consumer rates.

Adequate education can help individuals understand the safety and sanitation surrounding reclaimed water. Processing professionals may establish campaigns to inform the public of the recycling method.

Some consumers may feel more comfortable learning about the process, whereas others may benefit from understanding its similarities to general purification. The natural process signifies wastewater filtering through rivers and back into conventional water cycles. People that are aware of water recycling practices may feel more comfortable supporting technological advancements in the industry.

Future Technologies in Water Recycling and Reuse    

Professionals are developing water recycling and reclamation systems using the Internet of Things (IoT). Smart technologies can track and predict water use to minimize waste. Some environmental engineers are also working on efficiency-enhancing technologies.

They are developing indoor water-waste prevention systems to conserve the global freshwater supply. Residents and business owners that adopt the advanced techniques can decrease adverse ecological effects and improve global conservation.

Richard Nielsen's picture
Richard Nielsen on Feb 8, 2022

Water is actually one of our biggest challenges and has been for a couple of decades now.  Without engaging in the global climate change arguments, as they in my opinion have little to do with the actual problem.  History seems elude a lot of people, we have had extended periods of drought before, but it has long been forgotten or ignored and the flat vanity of people is 90% of our water problem.  According to the CDC the average length of a shower is 8 minutes, if that is the average, then half the people out there are wasting water and time. Do you turn the water off when brushing your teeth? Do you use a full sink when washing dishes?  Wonderful green lawns- Millions of gallons wasted on suburban lawns. Bottled water.. millions of gallons wasted as full cases of water head to a landfill someplace. Many of our habits contribute more to the water shortage then the climate does.  Water treatment, re-use, is of course a great approach, de-sal plants, and many other avenues can help, but first lets get a handle on our vanity.

Jane Marsh's picture
Thank Jane for the Post!
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