Technology Addresses Water Scarcity

Freshwater shortages are expected to be common well into the future.GAO document In response to a congressional request to consider technologies that could help municipal water utilities address water scarcity, the US. Government Accounting Office (GAO) has issued a 93-page report titled Municipal freshwater scarcity: Using technology to improve distribution system efficiency and tap nontraditional water sources.

The report examines technologies that could reduce demand on freshwater supplies by improving distribution system efficiency; technologies that could increase water supplies by using nontraditional water sources such as water reuse, stormwater capture and desalination; and it considers the locations and types of water utilities where these technologies are most commonly adopted.

The document addresses the financial and regulatory challenges utilities often face when considering nontraditional sources and their technologies.

To prepare the assessment, the GAO reviewed key reports and scientific literature; conducted a national survey of water utilities; visited water utilities, national laboratories and research facilities; and convened a two-day meeting with water technology experts, including OCWD Director of Water Production Mehul Patel. He was among the 13 experts and five federal agencies that also reviewed the draft report and provided technical comments.

You can read the assessment by clicking on the document image contained in this story.