Thursday, March 24, 2016

Water Reuse and Beer?

by Lori Davison, The Groundwater Foundation
If you are not familiar with the term water reuse, it is just what it says—basically recycling treated wastewater to use in agricultural and landscape irrigation, industrial processes, and refilling groundwater basins.  Wastewater treatments can be adjusted for the different ways you are going to use the reused water.  Water recycling is nothing new--through the natural water cycle, the earth has recycled and reused water for millions of years.  Recycled water has many benefits including that it can help with the world’s growing water demands as long as it is treated properly.  Other benefits are reducing or preventing pollution and being used to create wetlands and habitats.
Reused water is most commonly used for non-drinking purposes.  Examples are agriculture, landscaping, public parks, golf course irrigation, cooling water for power plants, and toilet flushing.  But, reused water can be used for other things.  A California brewing company is making beer out of recycled water!  To do this they used the same technology that was used by NASA astronaut Scott Kelly to make coffee from his sweat and urine while on the International Space Station.  The brewery used a tasting panel to test the beer, but the panel could not detect the difference between a version of this beer made with recycled water and the normal version of the beer.  The beer is not available for sale yet.
Water recycling is a promising innovation to help increase our usable water supply.  What are your thoughts about using recycled water? Would you be open to drinking products made from recycled water? 

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