With more than 2700 members, the Water Reuse Specialist Group (WRSG) is the largest specialist group within IWA. The mission of the WRSG is to facilitate the implementation of safe water reuse practice through the promotion of successful water reuse projects, innovative tools and the sharing of information via our international knowledge network. We strongly believe that, if well managed, water reuse can play a critical role in integrated water resources management and thereby improve the quality of life in developed and developing countries. In addition, water reuse can also contribute to energy savings within the water cycle, as it can be more energy efficient to recycle water compared to long distance transport or to desalinate sea or brackish water. Energy recovery strategies from used water integrated into water reclamation projects can offer additional opportunities for energy efficient water reuse.
A major barrier to implementing water reuse is the lack of uniform standards that specify use specific requirements. While several countries have or are considering regulations for various reuse practices, the WRSG is fostering a more uniform approach to water reuse providing water qualities that are fit for the specific purpose. In addition, providing confidence in sharing knowledge regarding water reuse practices in different countries can help building trust in water reuse projects. The WRSG is making contributions to this very critical element by conducting international conference and workshops and preparing publications and technical guidance documents to further promote various water reuse practices. In 2015, the WRSG organized the 10th IWA International Conference on Water Reclamation and Reuse in Harbin, China. Preparations are ongoing for a workshop on potable water reuse at the 2016 IWA World Water Congress in Brisbane, Australia.
Traditionally, non-potable water reuse has played a significant role in agricultural irrigation and urban landscape irrigation. These reuse applications will continue to be practiced in many parts of the world. Regions that suffer from severe water scarcity, potable water reuse is of increasing interest. Recent studies are endorsing the viability of indirect and direct potable water reuse for future water supply using unconventional resources. This growing trend towards potable reuse has the potential to significantly transform integrated water resource management of cities of the future.