Recycling more water

Water conservation signage at at Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge, on June 22, 2021. Photo by Pablo Unzueta for CalMatters
Water conservation signage at at Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge, on June 22, 2021. Photo by Pablo Unzueta for CalMatters

Recycled water is treated sewage. In most cases, it’s used for irrigation or recharging groundwater basins. San Jose operates a recycling system and distributes treated wastewater for non-potable purposes, such as agriculture; industrial cooling and processing; and irrigation of golf courses, parks and schools. 

The Orange County Water District has a longstanding, state-of-the-art project that recycles wastewater into drinkable supplies stored in its groundwater basin. It takes water that would’ve been discharged into the ocean and purifies it to drinking water standards. The water is then injected into the aquifer to replenish it for wells.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District plans to develop highly purified water for potable reuse by 2025.