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The enthusiasm for recycling water that Australians had at the height of the drought little more than a decade ago has waned. Shaney Balcombe/AAP

When water is scarce, we can’t afford to neglect the alternatives to desalination

Cities relied entirely on conserving and recycling water to get through the last big drought. We now have desalination plants, but getting the most out of our water reserves still makes sense.
The Hawkesbury’s waters look beautifully natural but treated sewage makes up to 20% of the river flow where the North Richmond Filtration Plant draws its water. Karl Baron/flickr

More of us are drinking recycled sewage water than most people realise

Perth is looking at recycling all its sewage in the city's future water supply. But many Australians' drinking water already contains indirectly recycled treated sewage.
The Thomson Dam, Melbourne’s largest water storage, dropped to only 16% of capacity in the last big drought. Melbourne Water/flickr

This is what Australia’s growing cities need to do to avoid running dry

Australian cities have turned to some very costly solutions when water is scarce. But as the world's second-highest users of water per person, more efficient use and recycling are key.

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