In the world’s driest inhabited continent it may seem incredible that much of the most important resource is washed down the drain. But the next generation of water recycling technologies could change all that.
“When you have bothered to pipe good quality water to a house, it makes no sense to use it once, then pump it out again and dispose of it,” says Professor Richard Pashley of Murdoch University.
Professor Pashley, a world-leading chemist and head of the new federally-funded Centre of Excellence in Desalination to be based in Perth, believes scientific advances in wastewater recycling will soon clean grey water – from your washing machine, bath, shower and sinks – faster and better, using relatively little energy.
And when you consider that the average family of four wastes 100,000 litres of water a year, which could be recycled to water the garden and to flush toilets, greywater technologies are crucial to Australia’s future needs.