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Drinking recycled water:

It is time West Australians “got over” their fear of drinking recycled water, Nationals leader Brendon Grylls said today.

Mr Grylls said the government’s controversial decision to pump treated waste water into the Gnangara Mound aquifer was necessary to sustain Perth’s water supplies.

The recycled water could be released into the main supply for public consumption within 18 months, with the city’s dams on the verge of running dry.

“Some people are nervous about recycled water being used in Western Australia,” he said.

“Time to get over that.

“We’ve got a major challenge in providing water for the future and there could be two choices: recycled water or buy it in a bottle and tip it into the bath.”

Mr Grylls emphasised his point by saying he had no issue allowing his family to drink recycled water.

“Am I prepared to drink it? I am,” he said. “Am I prepared for my kids to drink it? Yes I am.”

The Minister for Regional Development and Land used his speech at the Urban Development Industry Association conference to call on the Opposition not to feed public concern.

“If one side of politics balks and says no [to recycled water], it becomes very, very difficult,” he said.

“It’s a bit like the carbon tax. A lot of the facts are washed away and a lot of the rhetoric becomes what people understand.

“Direct recycled water into the grid is probably tricky [to convince the public to support] but water reinjected into the aquifer, shandied with existing ground water sources, filtered through the same sand-water filter that many of you have on your pool filter at home would be a step that I think the community is willing to take.”

The Centre for Water Research has predicted Perth’s drinking water supplies – from dams – will run out by the end of next summer even with decent rainfall. The dams are currently about 22 per cent full.

The Centre’s director, Professor Jorg Imberger, told WAtoday.com.au last week that recycled water was the only option to top up Perth’s drinking water supply by summer.

Other options include expanding use of the Yarragadee aquifer in the South-West – which also has attracted community opposition – and doubling capacity of the second desalination plant at Binningup, which is due to come online by the end of the year to provide 45 gigalitres of water.

Source: BBC

In Beaufort West, South Africa, recycled water is already circulating through the water network of the town. In the not to distant future this will be a reality for many South African cities and town as the country prepares for the effects of climate change and water supplies running dry.

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