Water reuse and recycling in Canada: A status and needs assessment

Posted January 2006

By K. Schaefer, K. Exall, and J. Marsalek

In this paper, which appeared in the Fall 2004 edition of the Canadian Water Resources Journal, the Canadian experience with water reuse and recycling is reviewed under five theme areas: technology; policy and regulation; research; public acceptance; and coordination. At present, water reuse and recycling in Canada is practiced on a relatively small scale and varies regionally depending on the availability of water supplies and regulatory flexibility.

Typical examples include using treated municipal wastewater to irrigate agricultural non-food crops, urban parkland, landscaping, and golf courses. Water recycling also exists in select industrial sectors and experimental greywater treatment and reuse for toilet flushing, irrigation, or other non-potable uses at the scale of individual buildings.

Recommendations for further action are presented from a recent national experts workshop on water reuse. The interest in reuse will likely increase, driven to a large extent by steadily increasing water demands, conflict among users and opportunities to save on future expansion of water supply infrastructure.

For access to the complete paper, visit www.cwra.org