The role of advanced wastewater treatment in wastewater reclamation and reuse is reviewed. Most of the current wastewater reclamation and reuse technologies are essentially derived from those used in water and wastewater treatment. However, opportunities for adopting technological innovations are much greater for water reuse applications, because reclaimed water will have an economic value as an alternative water supply. Significant progress has been made in developing sound technical approaches to producing high quality and reliable water sources from reclaimed wastewater. This overview paper provides an assessment of technological advances in water reclamation and reuse, which has been dubbed as “the greatest challenge of the 21st century.” The paper was presented at the Opening Plenary Session of the IAWQ's Advanced Wastewater Treatment, Recycling and Reuse Conference in Milan, Italy on September 14, 1998.

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