As the water crisis worsens, an increasing number of people are pointing fingers at who they feel is most responsible for wasting and over using water sources. More often than not citizens love to blame industry. A closer look however might cause people to start looking inward and back away from these heated accusations.
Think about how much clean drinking water you and I waste on things like washing our cars, power-washing our decks and garages, filling swimming pools and aquariums, washing windows. Flushing toilets is a huge waste of drinking water, and we don’t really need drinking quality water to shower in. If you have a home Reverse Osmosis system for making safe drinking water you are wasting as much as 9 gallons of drinking water for every one gallon of RO water your system produces.
Boy, talk about feeling guilty about casting the first stone? But wait, it gets worse.
Do you realize that safe drinking water can be produced from industrial waste-water, raw sewage and even radio-active waste? It’s true. Right now, as we speak flushed toilets and shower water is being processed into bottled drinking water, and handed out to cruise ship passengers. Yuck, you say? Not really. The water is better than that coming out of a home faucet.
This brings me to a revolutionary new idea that could truly make a major impact. It is a concept I have introduced to a couple smaller municipalities and is called Dual Source Water Supply ™ and if implemented properly, over the long haul could be one of the most important and powerful tools for water conservation and sustainability since the great Lake Mead water project.
To be successful the process would require cooperation and vision from government, municipalities, water treatment companies and the home building industry. Depending on the particular resources a city/area had, the process could take different forms.
Essentially, the concept is to have a municipality provide two separate water sources;
- A high quality, potable water drinking source
- A lesser quality, safe, but non-drinking, utility water source.
The work this would take is mind boggling. Homes would have to be designed with separate plumbing networks, municipalities would have to design dual treatment functions into their plants, and create a dual piping distribution system to get the water to the user.
The good news is that the upsides would be even more mind-boggling. The additions to plant, equipment and infrastructure would create thousands of new sustainable job and bring new investment. Our water supplies would be protected as recycling could literally reduce our need for new, fresh water by as much as 75%. Areas facing devastation due to water shortage could again become sustainable, growing communities.
I reference the Lake Mead project quite often, but think about how much long-term economic development and sustainability that project brought. Now think about how long it has been since America has undertaken such a large, and universally beneficial water project.
I believe there is great upside in Dual Source Water Supply™ communities.