Potable reuse around the world

Case study overviews

Communities around the world have examined and implemented potable reuse projects, with many finding they are a cost effective, safe and sustainable option to augment their drinking water supplies.

Read about projects from Australia and around the world where potable reuse has been explored, implemented and some cases expanded.

Case Studies

Perth, Western Australia: replenishing underground storages with purified wastewater

A drying climate coupled with continued growth in population has highlighted that Perth needs water sources that are independent of the climate. Read about the drivers, pilot project, monitoring trial, and extensive community engagement which led to Australia’s first full-scale implementation of a potable reuse project.


Australian Capital Territory: recycled water deferred

In 2005 the Australian Capital Territory investigated recycled water for drinking as a viable option to augment its diminishing water supply. Read about how the government explored and then rejected potable reuse for Canberra.


Orange County, California: a role model for groundwater replenishment

Orange County’s groundwater replenishment system is the world’s largest water recycling system of its kind. Read about how extensive, long-term community education and engagement has successfully built public support for recycled water for drinking.


El Paso, Texas: recycled water for drinking in a desert climate

The greater metropolitan area of El Paso, Texas, is home to one of the first plants in the United States to treat wastewater to drinking water standards. Read how EPWU is meeting the challenges that come with living in a desert city.


San Diego, California: planning to recycle water for drinking

After a successful five-year wastewater purification trial, the City of San Diego is planning to implement a full-scale recycling scheme as a local source of drinking water. Read about the city’s planning path, pilot scheme, and how decision-makers, regulators, politicians and customers are being engaged.


Santa Clara Valley, California: planning for direct potable reuse

The Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Centre opened in 2014 and purifies up to 8 million gallons of treated wastewater a day. Read about lessons learnt in involving public officials and the local community in the decision-making process.


Wichita Falls, Texas: direct potable reuse solution to drought crisis

In July 2014, the city of Wichita Falls, Texas, became one of the first in the United States to use treated wastewater directly in its drinking water supply. Read how the city designed an advanced water treatment scheme to blend purified recycled water directly into the city’s distribution system to satisfy one-third of the city’s daily demand.