Water Resources Engineering (WRE) connects engineering hydrology and hydraulics with societal, environmental, and other issues. Our student Ms. Kaveney makes this connection here…

“As ‘Yuck Factor’ Subsides, Treated Wastewater Flows From Taps” from The New York Times on February 9, 2012 describes how the city of San Diego is recycling their wastewater and reusing it for drinking water. This relates to water resource engineering because the wastewater has to go through a series of processes before it can be safe enough to drink. This is important in our world today because as population grows and climate changes, we are losing drinkable water. More water is becoming contaminated and unusable. According to the National Academy of Sciences, “if coastal communities used advanced treatment procedures on the effluent that is now sent out to sea, it could increase the amount of municipal water available by as much as 27 percent.” By cleaning it and recycling the water, we are being more sustainable.

The article describes the steps of the treatment process: the water is filtered, goes through reverse osmosis, and treated with hydrogen peroxide or chlorine and exposed to UV light. I read other articles which showed different ways in which you could treat water; however, this article seems factually correct due to the sources. Much of the engineering design is outlined by Groundwater Replenishment Systems.

This is a societal and global issue because people have to accept the fact that they are drinking what was once wastewater and also this design could be implemented and used throughout the world to recycle water as our water supplies are diminishing. This is a sustainable way to make sure clean and usable water doesn’t diminish in the near future. Water resource engineering impacts the society and world because without it, we wouldn’t have treatment plants which recycle and clean the water. This could be a “new era in water management in the United States.” In conclusion, this is an important news story because it shows ways in which we can adapt our habits to the different world we are living in.

Three Step Process, as provided by gwrsystem.com