The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
With increasing pressure on water supplies as a result of population growth in metropolitan centers, several countries have developed water recycling projects for non-potable purposes such as irrigation, agriculture, industrial processes, toilet flushing and replenishing groundwater basins.
The first recycling water facility was built at San Francisco's Golden Gate Park in 1932. Since then, the use of recycled water has continued to rise.
The Water Factory 21 Direct Injection Project in Orange County, California, has been injecting highly treated recycled water into the aquifer to prevent salt water intrusion, while augmenting the potable groundwater supply since 1976.
A world-class golf course in the U.S. state of Hawaii, Koele Golf Course, has used recycled water for irrigation since 1994.
The Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station located near Phoenix Arizona, uses recycled water for cooling purposes.
The Irvine Ranch Water District provides recycled water for toilet flushing in high-rise buildings in Irvine, California.
Singapore has adopted a varied approach for ensuring a sustainable water supply. Aside from importing water from Malaysia, collecting and treating local surface runoff and desalinating seawater, Singapore reuses wastewater through its NEWater scheme.
Two plants came online in 2003, producing 72 million liters of purified recycled water per day. Most of NEWater is supplied to wafer fabrication plants, electronic industries, commercial buildings and other industries for non-potable uses.
Veurne-Ambacht, a tourist region on the coast of Belgium, recharges the groundwater basin with purified recycled water to prevent seawater intrusion.
Essex, the driest county in the UK, has implemented a water recycling scheme since 1997. Up to 28 million liters per day of treated wastewater is mixed with river water and pumped into the Hanningfield reservoir.
In Australia's Toowoomba and Goulburn, wastewater has been recycled for decades, usually for recreational facilities such as ponds in parks and golf courses. The two cities plan to use recycled sewage for drinking water.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the U.S. is currently developing initiatives to recycle water more efficiently on the International Space Station in preparation for future trips to the Moon and Mars.
Researchers are developing technology to recover water from astronauts' sweat, breath vapor and urine. It is hoped to produce 132 liters of potable water per day, which would be sufficient for a seven-person crew.