Industrial Water Reuse
By William F. Harfst
The first question that comes up regarding industrial water reuse is, ﾓWhy?ﾔ Why should we reuse wastewater when fresh water supplies are abundant and inexpensive? Whereas it is true that in many parts of the world water remains a plentiful, under-valued utility, other areas are experiencing water shortages caused by drought, or a local imbalance between freshwater supply and demand caused by population growth and industrial expansion. As this trend continues, industrial water conservation is viewed by the public as not just an obligation, but also a moral responsibility. And, of course, as freshwater rates increase, cost control becomes the dominant driving force for water conservation projects. The good news is that many opportunities exist for industry to reuse and recycle water prior to its discharge into the environment. The goals of this effort are to minimized freshwater withdrawals, maximize water reuse, reduce wastewater generation, and cut costs.
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