Public Release: 

EARTH: Drinking toilet water

The science (and psychology) of wastewater recycling

American Geosciences Institute

Alexandria, VA - Would you drink water from a toilet? What if that water, once treated, was cleaner than what comes out of the faucet? Although the imagery isn't appealing, as climate change and population growth strain freshwater resources, such strategies are becoming more common around the world -- and in the United States.

Over the last several decades, local and regional water shortages have become increasingly common. These shortages have led to increased friction over water resources. Technologies are currently being developed to help make wastewater recycling more efficient and less expensive, but talking people into drinking "flush to faucet" water is the bigger challenge, experts say. Will recycled wastewater become the norm where you live? And will enough wastewater be available to offset expected freshwater shortages? Read the story and find out at

Read this story and more in the February issue of EARTH Magazine. Learn how the sun provides water to the moon; spy on Indonesian volcanoes with satellites; and discover Israel's undersea gas reservoirs all in this month's issue of EARTH.


Keep up to date with the latest happenings in Earth, energy and environment news with EARTH magazine online at Published by the American Geosciences Institute, EARTH is your source for the science behind the headlines.

The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment.

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