Water Quality as a Component of a Sustainable Water Supply

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Thomas P. Knepper and Thomas A. Ternes Abstract

Pristine water resources for drinking water and other uses (e.g., land irrigation) are becoming increasingly scarce due to an ever-growing world population. To utilize available resources efficiently and rationally, water quality is as important as water quantity. To supply the world with sufficient water of a sufficient quality, a three-way approach is needed. First, water resources must be protected: optimal agricultural and industrial practices (e.g., use of biodegradable chemicals) must be followed to avoid contaminating rivers and streams. Second, water treatment methods must be found to accommodate the safe reuse of wastewater and permit usage of brackish water and seawater. Third, a balance between groundwater usage and replenishment must be achieved. Future innovations are needed to achieve these goals. This chapter focuses on issues related to water quality.

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