Identifying Opportunities for Nonpotable Water Reuse Based on Potential Supplies and Demands in the United States

Allisa G. Hastie, Victoria V. Otrubina, Ashlynn S. Stillwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Water scarcity threatens the well-being of individuals, the natural environment, and economic systems that function within society. Faced with growing and evolving water supply concerns, many utilities and industries have relied on nontraditional water sources to mitigate severe shortages and combat water quality concerns. Treated municipal wastewater can serve as a reliable supply of water at a predictable quality and quantity and is especially well-suited for nonpotable end uses. In this work, we identify areas within the contiguous United States where water reuse projects are possible on the basis of existing supplies of treated wastewater at known qualities and quantities, estimated nonpotable demands, and state-level policies that outline water quality requirements for reuse. We use publicly available data to develop a geographic information system-based supply-demand assessment that identifies spatial trends and areas of interest for locally focused water reuse analysis. We find that the feasibility of water reuse is highly sensitive to existing state-level policies and the level of wastewater treatment currently in place. Nonpotable recycled water can potentially offset significant water withdrawals within communities where specific policy and technical criteria are met.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-321
Number of pages11
JournalACS ES and T Water
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 10 2023


  • environmental policy
  • geographic information systems
  • reclaimed water
  • water reuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology


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