Costs, benefits of direct and indirect potable reuse

My UNM faculty colleague Caroline Scruggs and soon-to-be-graduate of both Community and Regional Planning and the Water Resources Program Jason Herman have a new paper on the costs of treating and reusing wastewater. Caroline and her students have been looking closely at the issue in the context of small inland communities, which are increasingly eyeing both direct and indirect potable reuse as a supply option:

We find that the present worth for indirect potable reuse is substantially higher than for direct potable reuse because of additional pumping and piping requirements, and scenarios including reverse osmosis for advanced treatment have significantly higher present worth values than those including ozone/biological activated carbon. Costs aside, any scenario must also be acceptable to regulators and the public and approvable from a water rights perspective.