Increasing urbanization has resulted in an uneven distribution of population, industries, and water in urban areas; thus, imposing unprecedented pressures on water supplies and water pollution control. These pressures are exacerbated during the periods of drought and climatic uncertainties. The purpose of this paper is to summarize emergence of water reclamation, recycling and reuse as a vital component of sustainable water resources in the context of integrated water resources management in urban and rural areas. Water quality requirements and health and public acceptance issues related to water reuse are also discussed.
Reclaimed water is a locally controllable water resource that exists right at the doorstep of the urban environment, where water is needed the most and priced the highest. Closing the water cycle loop not only is technically feasible in agriculture, industries, and municipalities but also makes economic sense. Society no longer has the luxury of using water only once.