Algorithm for sustainable water source and treatment selection process

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Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering


World water supply is lacking in many places, making sanitation and reuse methods important. A new algorithm entitled ‘Drinking Water Source and Treatment Selection’ (DWSTS) to more sustainably select and compare water sources and treatment methods is introduced and demonstrated. Sustainability factors included in DWSTS include economic, social, and technical. DWSTS charts produced using this new method are an improvement over more traditional performance measures since they compare water sources based on a spectrum of considerations. The DWSTS method is demonstrated in a representative town. In water-scarce Muslim communities, the practice of ablution offers an opportunity for gray water reuse. Treating and reusing ablution gray water (AGW) was evaluated as part of the new DWSTS algorithm. Investigatory tools included in the new method were: household water use surveys, opinion leader interviews, an AGW collection device prototype design, treatment identification and testing, and comparison of attributes to those of existing water sources. Treatment methods examined were locally-made clay pot filter, coagulation and settling using moringa tree seeds, and P&G™ Purifier of Water. The DWSTS charts developed indicate AGW reuse could be socially acceptable, has potential to provide quality water, and would be financially competitive with existing sources. The DWSTS resulted in a more robust and environmentally sustainable solution than the conventional approach of simply considering cost.

Publisher's Statement

© IWA Publishing 2020. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.2166/ws.2020.158

Publication Title

Water Science and Technology: Water Supply