EPA funds water reuse studies

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has committed US$ 3.3 million to funding for research into water reuse and conservation.

The funding will go to five research institutions to research human and ecological health impacts associated with water reuse and conservation practices. Deputy assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Research and Development, Thomas A Burke, said: “The research will help us manage and make efficient use of the water supply in the long term.

“To help promote sustainable water reuse, this research will evaluate how reclaimed water applications such as drinking water reuse, replenishing groundwater, and irrigation can affect public and ecological health.”

The money will go to:

Water Environment Research Foundation to identify contaminant hotspots, assess the impact of those hotspots on human and ecological health, and quantify the impact of water reuse and management solutions:

University of Illinois to develop a new framework to understand how adaptive ultra violet and solar-based disinfection systems reduce the persistence of viral pathogens in wastewater for sustainable reuse;

Utah State University, to assess the impacts and benefits of stormwater harvesting using Managed Aquifer Recharge to develop new water supplies in arid western urban ecosystems.

University of Nevada to quantify microbial risk and compare the sustainability of indirect and direct potable water reuse systems in the US; and

University of California to measure levels of contaminants of emerging concern in common vegetables and other food crops irrigated with treated wastewater, and to evaluate human dietary exposure.