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Mares: Recycled Water

Reposted from:  VPR Commentary April 23, 2012

(Host) For much of our history Americans have treated water as an almost unlimited commodity, equally suitable for washing, watering the garden and drinking. But writer and commentator Bill Mares is a former teacher and state legislator who thinks that attitude is changing.

(Mares) Twenty five years ago, a fellow legislator Don Cioffi and I made fun of Killington Ski Area for their plan to spray treated sewage water onto the slopes. We created a bogus “Vermont Association for Sanitary Skiing” and made up a bumper sticker, in white and brown, naturally, which read: KILLINGTON, WHERE THE AFFLUENT MEET THE EFFLUENT. There were a few hours of amusement and annoyance in the State House, and we returned to our business. Now the joke is on me. Killington was way ahead of its time.

Living as I do in view of Lake Champlain it’s hard to think that there’s a water crisis, but growth, drought and the effects of global climate change are taking a toll, especially in the arid West. So as rainfall becomes less predictable and aquifers dry up, more attention turns to water re-cycling. A recent National Academy of Sciences report says that “Expanding water reuse, through the use of treated wastewater for irrigation, industrial use and even drinking water could significantly increase the national total water resources.”

The report says that “the risk of exposure to microbial and chemical contamination from drinking reclaimed water doesn’t appear to be any higher than the risk experienced in at least some current drinking water systems, and may be (significantly) lower.”

Click here for more information:  www.vpr.net/episode/53463/mares-recycled-water

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