Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesCentre for Environmental Policy

Anglian Water Research Coordinator



+44 (0)20 7594 6180c.vaghela




301Weeks BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





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Giakoumis T, Vaghela C, Voulvoulis N, 2020, Chapter Six - The role of water reuse in the circular economy, Wastewater treatment and Reuse – Present and future perspectives in technological developments and management issues, Editors: Verlicchi, Publisher: Elsevier, Pages: 227-252

Water is at the core of sustainable development and is critical for socio-economic development, energy and food production, as well as healthy ecosystems and the benefits they deliver to us. Water and sanitation are vital for reducing the global burden of disease and improving the health, education and economic productivity of populations. Water reuse closes the loop between water supply and sanitation and provides an alternative water source. Wastewater treated to the right quality can replenish water supplies and reduce the demand and availability gap. The transition to a circular economy has the potential to transform current barriers to water reuse, and this chapter investigates its role in closing the loop in water management. Examining various advanced treatment technologies, we conclude that effective water reuse applications can deliver environmental, economic and social benefits. By the time recycled water has passed through the right combination of treatment processes, it is in fact cleaner than regular drinking water. The issue, however, comes down to how much people trust governments to make sure water is safe. As the public is becoming more environmentally aware—maybe more willing to accept “drinking toilet water,” the current prevailing perception of water reuse and main barrier to its widespread application.

Book chapter

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