Environmental Science & Technology
Investigating the energy-water usage efficiency of the reuse of treated municipal wastewater for artificial groundwater recharge
Eric D Fournier, Arturo A Keller, Roland Geyer, James Frew
This project investigates the energy-water usage efficiency of large scale civil infrastructure projects involving the artificial recharge of subsurface groundwater aquifers via the reuse of treated municipal wastewater. A modeling framework is introduced which explores the various ways in which spatially heterogeneous variables such as topography, landuse, and subsurface infiltration capacity combine to determine the physical layout of proposed reuse system components and their associated process energy-water demands. This framework is applied to the planning and evaluation of the energy-water usage efficiency of hypothetical reuse systems in five case study regions within the State of California. Findings from these case study analyses suggest that, in certain geographic contexts, the water requirements attributable to the process energy consumption of a reuse system can exceed the volume of water that it is able to recover by as much as an order of magnitude.