A Fix for a Thirsty World - Making Direct and Indirect Reuse Legally Possible

84 Pages Posted: 16 May 2017 Last revised: 15 May 2018

See all articles by Heather Payne

Heather Payne

Seton Hall University - School of Law

Date Written: April 21, 2017


Reliably providing safe drinking water to the public is an essential function of state and local governments. Across the United States, government officials and public water system managers are exploring mechanisms for ensuring water security. One method for increasing public drinking water security that has garnered the attention of water officials and the public is returning treated wastewater to the drinking water supply. However, in the absence of federal regulations on water reuse, states need guidance to develop the statutory framework necessary to make potable reuse legal. This article details the processes of direct and indirect potable reuse and reviews the existing federal and state regulations concerning water systems and reuse. After discussing why, for energy and policy reasons, states and municipalities might want to encourage direct and/or indirect potable reuse, the paper concludes with model legislation for states to use in developing direct and indirect potable water reuse regulations.

Keywords: direct reuse, indirect reuse, potable, wastewater, legislation

JEL Classification: K32, L5, Q25, Q28

Suggested Citation

Payne, Heather, A Fix for a Thirsty World - Making Direct and Indirect Reuse Legally Possible (April 21, 2017). William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review, Vol. 42, No. 1, 2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2968986

Heather Payne (Contact Author)

Seton Hall University - School of Law ( email )

One Newark Center
Newark, NJ 07102-5210
United States

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