Just decades ago, cities in the developed world routinely dumped untreated sewage directly into rivers and streams, spreading disease and pollution through the human and natural environment. Today, such practices strike us as profoundly misguided, even horrifying.

As an executive in the water industry and a member of the so-called “millennial generation”, I believe that many communities will begin to reuse substantially all of their water within my lifetime, and we will look back at today’s wasteful water practices with a similar sense of horror.

In 2050, I will be 70. Between now and then, 2.4 billion thirsty people will be born into a world that is already straining to support today’s water needs. Water demand will grow 55% to support rising food, energy and industrial production, and climate change may inflict water stress on 40% of the world’s population. For this future world to be healthy, prosperous and environmentally sustainable, we must quickly turn water reuse into the global “new normal”.
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