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How to promote water reclamation and reuse through the California water rights system
Contrary to common belief, the relevant statutes do not establish in the wastewater producer an exclusive right to use the wastewater it produces.In processing applications to appropriate wastewater discharged by upstream treatment plants, the State Board should notify the wastewater producer of the application and condition any resulting permit on the payment of some compensation to the wastewater producer.In developing and implementing plans for use of treated wastewater in lieu of potable water supplies, producers and intended users of wastewater are faced with the problem of protecting the supply from adverse claims for its appropriation and use. The problem can and should be resolved by the State Water Resources Control Board's appropriative water rights permitting process in a manner that promotes the use of wastewater in lieu of potable water supplies.The effective use of wastewater requires that it be dealt with as a water supply, with all of the expected characteristics thereof including assurance of its continued availability for the intended use.