Freshwater scarcity has become a major concern worldwide. Between two and seven billion people across the globe will face water shortages by 2050. The reasons for water scarcity are the increasing demand due to continued population growth and new consumption patterns, industrial development, dependence on single supply sources, depletion and pollution of groundwater as well as hydrological and climate changes. This scenary can potentially compromise the social and industrial development of the EU, as well as the water bodies’ status in terms of water quantity and quality.
The need to overcome freshwater scarcity has led many countries to implement Water reuse as viable alternative to source high-quality water from treated effluents for wastewater treatment plants, alleviating thus the critically limited natural freshwater resources. However there is a lack of reuse experience, and thus, its implementation nowadays is still limited. In order to increase the amout of reused water at EU level, several environmental problems associated have to be addressed:
- Reclamation and reuse treatment systems should present lower environmental impacts and associated costs than conventional solutions, in order to widespread its implementation.
- Reliability and safety of reuse practices must be demonstrated in order to gain public acceptance amongst different potential water users (industrial, municipal and agricultural)