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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Is Scarcity a Real Driver for Water Reuse ?


Conventional knowledge suggests that water reclamation and reuse is implemented as a response to scarcity of natural water resources. As water demand increases natural water resources (surface waters or groundwater) become insufficient and individual communities or larger regions turn to water reuse to meet an increasing fraction of their needs. However, the analysis of data on water consumption and water reuse collected by the US Geological Survey indicate that water scarcity is perhaps only one factor behind water reuse. This work suggests that relative variability, measured as the coefficient of variantion combined with the Hurst exponent may explain to a large extent differences in water reuse in different parts of the U.S.

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