Directory : Water Directory 2013
PAGE 62 Water Directory 2013 Reuse or Recycled Water (Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, catalogue 1370.0; National Water Commission, www.nwc.gov.au) Reuse water is waste, storm or drainage water that has been used again by industries or households without going back to the environment. Every litre of reuse water that is used is one litre that does not need to be taken directly from river systems or dams. Reuse or recycled water is considered an important option for securing water supply into the future (AWA, 2005). During 2004--05, Australia used 21kL per capita of reuse water, down from 26kL per capita in 2000--01 or a decrease of 20%. Despite the decrease between 2000--2001 and 2004--2005, the volume of reuse water per capita has increased greatly from the amounts reported in the 1990s. During the 1990s, the highest volume of reuse water per capita was 7kL, only a third of the 2004--2005 volume. If the increase in the usage of reuse water continues, it will lessen the pressure on scarce freshwater sources. Reuse or recycled water is an important option for securing water supply into the future. There is increasing investment in infrastructure related to the supply of reuse water, and as such there is considerable interest in the volumes of reuse water supplied and used. Reuse or recycled water is provided for purposes including: agricultural irrigation; 'third pipe' systems in new urban developments; watering of community sports grounds and parks; and supply to industry. In addition, water management authorities are interested in whether reuse water is reducing the demand for distributed water or self-extracted water. The use of recycled water for drinking and other purposes is a fact of life for many communities around the world. Wherever towns draw their supplies from rivers, most of them will be using some recycled water that has been discharged by upstream regions. Some regions in Australia are now considering taking the next step by deliberately using recycled water to supplement drinking water supplies under carefully controlled conditions (this is called Planned Indirect Potable Reuse). In 2009--2010, the total volume of reuse water supplied was 374GL, more than a third (34% or 127GL) was supplied in New South Wales and more than a quarter (26% or 98GL) in Victoria. The Agriculture industry remained the largest user of reuse water across all industries in Australia (34% of total reuse water or 126GL) followed by the Water Supply industry (28% or 105GL) and by Other industries (21% or 78GL). Other industries include industries relating to the operation and maintenance of parks, gardens and sporting fields. Please see table opposite for a state-by-state breakdown.
Water Directory 2014