With chronic water shortages more commonplace across the U.S., and surging populations compounding scarcity issues in water stressed regions, the Water Research Foundation (WRF) released a new report that examines the risks, costs, and benefits of on-site water reuse of stormwater and graywater. The study, Using Graywater and Stormwater to Enhance Local Water Supplies: An Assessment of Risks, Costs, and Benefits, investigates safety and regulations related to treatment and storage of stormwater capture and graywater reuse. It also covers the technical, economic, regulatory, and social issues associated with graywater and stormwater capture for a range of uses, including nonpotable urban uses, irrigation, and groundwater recharge.

The report, in particular, addresses the shortfall of available information related to the risks, costs, and benefits of these projects and the lack of a developed regulatory framework for full use of these local water resources, beyond the simplest applications.

WRF’s study also considers the many questions that have limited the broader application of graywater and stormwater capture and use. The findings are anticipated to help support water managers, citizens of states under a current drought, and local and state health and environmental agencies.