Opportunities for wastewater reuse in Sweden
The summer of 2018 was extraordinarily dry, and the groundwater levels and water flows are still low at some places in Sweden. Changes in water use, a growing population, higher living standards and climate change are factors that increase the significance of these issues nationally and globally. Water scarcity affects different aspects of society, and there are also different approaches to the situation. One method to handle scarce water resources is wastewater reuse. Wastewater could be reused for different applications, for example groundwater recharge, irrigation, industrial processes, or for drinking water production. For the different applications, different water quality would be required, and thus different treatment technologies. Wastewater reuse is already applied in countries with longer and more frequent periods of drought, but is not as common in Sweden. There is no legislation specifically regulating this in Sweden. The issue of legislation is one thing that needs to be addressed in order to implement the technology in a safe way. It can also be important in order to gain acceptance for the system, which is another crucial issue. In order to achieve a successful implementation, both questions regarding technology, legislation and social acceptance need to be addressed.