A Perspective … in the end it’s all about disclosure & transparency
… I believe the following to be correct, save, one “big” caveat… we invite long term deleterious health implications IF we do not provide FULL DISCLOSURE to anyone choosing to re-use sewage effluent …
Increased usage of effluent called a path to water goals
Stepping up the use of treated sewage effluent is one path for the Tucson region to meet a 2025 deadline to stop overpumping its aquifer, a new state report says.
But Tucsonans need not drink treated sewage effluent for the region to meet that goal, a state official said Monday.
We can use effluent to at least temporarily reach “safe yield” by balancing the amount of water people pump from the ground with what is replenished, the Arizona Department of Water Resources report says.
NOTE … this article written for Tucson … Enough other uses exist for the effluent, such as putting it on golf courses and parks, and using it at power plants so the area doesn’t have to resort to treating it for drinking – called “toilet to tap,” said Laura Grignano, a water-resources specialist for the department.
Still, it may be difficult to put additional effluent to use because “everybody who owns it wants it for their own use,” said John Mawhinney, chairman of the state Groundwater Users Advisory Council, which heard details of the report in Tucson Monday. “The feds own part of it, and they want it for Indian obligations. The city wants it. Marana wants it. The farmers want it.”
Also, it may prove that treating effluent for drinking is a better value than building pipelines to extend treated sewage to more golf courses and parks, said Val Little, director of the Water Conservation Alliance of Southern Arizona.
Some details: … HOW WE’RE DOING: The Tucson area is making progress toward safe yield. The region’s overdraft – the amount of pumping exceeding groundwater recharge – was 86,000 acre-feet in 1985, rose to 156,000 by 1995, but dropped to 50,000 by 2006 after the city of Tucson got renewable Central Arizona Project water. An acre-foot will serve three to four families for a year.
THE OUTLOOK: It’s not good without another water source or more conservation. The overdraft will be about 112,900 acre-feet by 2025. It was nearly 23,000 acre-feet in 2006. The forecasts stem from three possible scenarios for regional water demand based on factors including population growth, the continuation of agriculture and the future of the area’s copper mines.
IF CAP RUNS SHORT. If the water project has shortages during eight of the next 15 years, the groundwater overdraft would rise by 4 percent to 27 percent.
WITH MORE EFFLUENT. If the region can boost effluent use by 59 percent, the overdraft drops – to zero – by 2016 before rising slightly over the next few years. By 2025, it would be very small. This scenario does not consider the possibility of CAP shortages or the potential of using 28,000 acre-feet of effluent set aside for the Tohono O’odham Nation.
Contact reporter Tony Davis at email@example.com or 806-7746…. Tony Davis Arizona Daily Star … Posted: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 12:00 am
… We need as a matter of honesty to inform anyone using sewage re-use effluent of all the remaining pharmaceuticals, chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, personal care products, fluoride which remain in the effluent they are considering to re-use … to paint use of sewage effluent re-use as containing no health implications is simply a LIE …
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