Current and Future Wastewater Reuse in Texas

0
ABSTRACT
The reuse of treated wastewater effluent has served as a source of water supply in Texas for decades. While this has often occurred without detailed planning, the formal, planned reuse of treated wastewater effluent is increasing rapidly in the state, especially in the area around the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

To plan for the increased water demand, Texas has been divided into 16 regional planning areas. Each region has developed a regional water plan that will be incorporated into a state water plan and will address various management strategies. Water reuse is one of the major strategies planned to meet Texas’s growing water needs by the year 2060.

The development of additional water supplies from reuse have been encouraged by ongoing and projected growth in population and municipal water needs, increasing levels of wastewater treatment, the continued development of membrane and created wetland treatment technologies, and the increasing difficulty of permitting and developing other water supply sources.

This paper discusses the current status of laws governing reuse and of reuse water supply projects, describes some selected current projects, describes planned reuse projects, discusses specific drivers and challenges for reuse projects in Texas, and discusses the significance of reuse as a supply for the state.

BACKGROUND
In Texas, the state has been divided into 16 regional planning areas, shown in Figure 1, for the purpose of performing long-term water supply planning. The plan for each of these areas is then incorporated into a state water plan that describes management strategies to meet the water demands for the entire state through the year 2060. Water reuse is one of the major strategies planned to meet Texas’s growing water needs.

The reuse of treated wastewater effluent has served as a source of water supply in Texas for decades. While this has often occurred in the past without detailed planning, the formal, planned reuse of treated wastewater effluent is increasing rapidly in the state, especially in the area around the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

The last state water plan, completed in 20021, estimated 1999 reuse at 180,000 acre-feet per year. The 2002 plan recommended the development of 520,000 acre-feet per year of additional reuse by 2050.

Since 2002, a combination of factors has encouraged the development of additional water supplies from reuse. These factors include ongoing and projected growth in population and municipal water needs, increasing levels of wastewater treatment, the continued development of membrane and created wetland treatment technologies, and the increasing difficulty of permitting and developing other water supply sources.

The 16 regions have recently completed a second round of regional planning that resulted in updated water supply plans to meet projected needs through 2060. These new plans (and the state water plan that will result from them) show much greater future reuse than did the 2002 state water plan.

This paper provides a discussion about the current status of laws governing reuse and of reuse water supply projects, descriptions of some selected current reuse projects, descriptions of planned reuse projects, discussion of specific drivers and challenges for reuse projects in Texas, and a discussion about the significance of reuse as a supply for the state.

Customer comments

No comments were found for Current and Future Wastewater Reuse in Texas. Be the first to comment!