All water supply options can contribute to water security and other valued outcomes and each community should consider all options within their local context. We have focused some specific effort on purified recycled water for drinking as in Australia it is the option that has often been left off the table.

This toolkit contains a range of resource materials on purified recycled water for drinking. WSAA also has a new Water360 website ( that contains many resources on purified recycled water, including videos, testimonials, case studies, animations are more. It also has resources on other water industry topics. This toolkit, including individual items, is updated regularly.

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Maps: 35+ cities use purified recycled water for drinking Over 35 cities around the world have adopted purified recycled water as part of their drinking water supply. Many more are also investigating it, for example with demonstration projects. DOWNLOAD


FAQs and fact sheets

What is purified recycled water for drinking? A brief overview of purified recycled water for drinking. DOWNLOAD
Research statistics on purified recycled water for drinking   Some statistics from Australia and beyond about purified recycled water for drinking. DOWNLOAD
It's not Toilet to Tap In the world of purified recycled water for drinking, the phrase ‘toilet to tap’ has an interesting and sometimes entertaining history. This short fact sheet explains whether toilet to tap is accurate, and shows some light-hearted cartoons. DOWNLOAD
Which places have demonstration plants? This fact sheet shows that most places that build demonstration plants for purified recycled water for drinking, have gained community acceptance. DOWNLOAD
Global websites, FAQs and virtual tours

Want to see how purified recycled water for drinking works? These days it isn’t easy to travel somewhere and do a tour, so these cities have organised a virtual tour.

We’ve also included some websites and Frequently Asked Questions about purified recycled water for drinking (or potable reuse, as it’s often called in America). 

Glossary of terminology  We know words are important. Here is a glossary developed by the Communications Collaborative Forum in California for places considering or doing reuse. WSAA is looking at the issue of terminology in Australia. DOWNLOAD
How much of that city’s water is reuse water? Ever wondered what proportion of the drinking water supply in a town, comes from purified recycled water? This fact sheet shows what percentage of purified recycled water is of the overall water supply. DOWNLOAD
Key messages These key messages give an overview of purified recycled water for drinking. DOWNLOAD
The story of a raindrop

This cute brochure explains what happens to rain in the water cycle. It’s meant for kids but grownups might like it too!

Courtesy of Smart Approved WaterMark.

Water and health: The coming water crisis and what we can do about it

Valley Water, in Santa Clara California, engaged with their local medical community about purified recycled water in future. The Santa Clara County Medical Association ended up preparing a special issue of their Bulletin, about the value of climate-resilient water supplies. Read the June 2022 issue here.  


Slides and diagrams 


This timeline shows when different cities adopted purified recycled water for drinking – some over 50 years ago.

Ten 'lessons learnt' This one-page slide shows the top ten ‘lessons learnt’ from experience around the world, about how to have a conversation in your community about purified recycled water for drinking as a water supply option. DOWNLOAD
Water cycle diagram - WSAA This diagram shows the ten main options that are usually considered to enhance the water supply of a city or town, and how they fit into the urban water cycle. DOWNLOAD
Let’s talk about Toowoomba

This slide pack talks about the 2006 Toowoomba referendum and asks what might be different today.

What are demonstration plants? This slide pack explains what a demonstration plant is, why many places build them as part of the journey to considering purified recycled water for drinking, and shows some examples from around the world. DOWNLOAD
Downstream  This evocative series of slides gives a quick overview of the importance of our precious water supplies, and explains why places around the world are starting to treat and reuse their water. You can also watch it as a video with music (7 minutes).  



All Options on the Table This slide deck outlines WSAA’s All Options on the Table: Urban Water Supply Options report DOWNLOAD
Unacknowledged reuse Unacknowledged, or de facto reuse, happens all around the world. These slides explain and show some examples. DOWNLOAD
Global visitor centres for purified recycled water Many cities considering purified recycled water to enhance their water supply, create a visitor centre or educational experience as part of a demonstration project, to help communities, stakeholders and others to understand how the process works. Visitor centres on this topic are a specialised art form. This report outlines some leading examples globally, including images of the centres and tours visitors go on.  DOWNLOAD


Videos and webinars 

Think and Drink  This 2-minute video outlines why it makes sense to consider purified recycled water as part of the drinking water supply. DOWNLOAD
Cities that use purified recycled water for drinking – video case studies

Six video case studies of about 5 minutes each. Five are about cities that have adopted purified recycled water for drinking, and one is about the importance of research.

Ways of Water This 2-minute video outlines the value of water and how we can make the most of our precious water. DOWNLOAD
Water Cycle Explorer This 12-minute video explains how water treatment and purification works. DOWNLOAD
Los Angeles going 100% reuse

The Today show in America ran this 4-minute news story in April 2021, about Los Angeles’ commitment to reuse almost 100% of its wastewater by 2035.

Florida news story  The US state of Florida recently passed legislation that will lead to a lot more reuse, as this 3-minute news clip outlines. DOWNLOAD
Demonstration plants around the world: How they prove public health

This 90-minute webinar looks at how demonstration projects have played a key role as purified recycled water has expanded in recent decades. WSAA is joined by engineering firm Carollo, Australian health regulator David Cunliffe and we take a look inside a fixed and a mobile demonstration plant. 

A journey with the community: Visitor centres and engagement

This 90-minute webinar explores why visitor experiences are an integral part of demonstration projects. WSAA is joined by Linda Macpherson and Ian Law to talk about Singapore’s NEWater visitor centre, and Diane Taniguchi-Dennis who pioneered one of the first mobile demonstration units as a forward-thinking engagement tool for stakeholders and the community.

San Diego: a city that turned opposition around

This 90-minute webinar looks at how San Diego famously overcame public rejection of reuse in the 1990s and is now building a scheme that will supply one-third of the city’s water. WSAA is joined by Jeffery Pasek who steered the project from its early days while at the City of San Diego. 

Are we alone on this road?

This 90-minute webinar explores purified recycled water for drinking schemes around the world. WSAA is joined by Michael Killick, City of Cape Town and Brendon Theunisse, Zutari to discuss water reuse in Cape Town after Day Zero. 

Treatment processes

Treating purified recycled water to drinking water standard involves taking it through a multi-step treatment process, in which each treatment step plays a specific role in ensuring the highest quality water. The overall process can vary in each city, to suit its geographic and other circumstances.

These short animations (around a minute each) show how several treatment steps work, and the El Paso video shows an overall treatment process.

Reverse osmosis

Micro filtration

Ultra violet

El Paso

What are the protective barriers in the water purification process?  Water engineers and experts in the United Sates discuss management controls, treatment barriers and operation controls to purify recycled water. View on Water360 website

Wulpen Belgium Citizens Drink Recycled Water

Community citizens in Belgium discuss how they like drinking purified recycled water. View on Water360 website

PUB Singapore Reverse Osmosis

This video and animation explains how reverse osmosis is used to purify recycled water in Singapore. View on Water360 website



All options on the table: Lessons from the journeys of others

This WSAA report dives deeper into the one water supply option that has tended to be off the table in the past – purified recycled water for drinking.

All options on the table: Urban water supply options

This WSAA report details the main options available to enhance a town’s water supply. All options can make a contribution to water security, but they suit different situations. This gives an overview of the different options and presents a comparative cost comparison.