Water Use Prioritization to Maximize Benefit of Treatment and Minimize Environmental Impact
Katie Benko, Water Treatment Engineering and Research, Bureau of Reclamation, M.S. 86-68230, P.O. Box 25007, Denver, CO 80225-0007 and Michelle Chapman, Water Treatment Engineering & Research, Bureau of Reclamation, M.S. 86-68230, P.O. Box 25007, Denver, CO 80225-0007.
Many communities in the Western US are experiencing conflict between water uses. Due to population growth, periodic drought and contamination of groundwater, many areas must choose between environmental requirements and municipal and industrial water needs. Water reuse is becoming an accepted option for landscaping and industrial needs, but it is still questionable for human consumption, food crops, or for environmental needs. For two years, the Bureau of Reclamation reviewed data from a pilot MF/RO operating on secondary wastewater effluent. The product water from this pilot was sold to construction firms for dust control and to residents for landscaping irrigation. The concentrate from this type of treatment can be used for irrigation of salt tolerant crops. Since the TDS range of the concentrate is not very high, this water is still within the irrigation TDS limits. In this study, we are conducting a cost/benefit/risk analysis for a model community along the South Platte River, using the experience gained during pilot testing, to examine the future water issues including the efficient balancing of supplies and demands, concentrate management, and enhancement of habitat and recreational assets, and even the integral role of power plants in concentrate management and power supplies of the South Platte River watershed.