With climate change and a burgeoning future world population there will be an increased need to reuse treated wastewater for a variety of uses including domestic water supplies as a water conservation measure. While there are technologies for partial treatment for the reuse of wastewater, in some areas of the world there is presently unregulated reuse of wastewater for agricultural irrigation activities which poses severe public health risks. Current water treatment technologies are inadequate to safeguard communities against water-related diseases arising from reused wastewater. There is an urgent need to ensure up-to-date knowledge about implementation of basic practices based on appropriate policy frameworks to protect human health and the environment. The knowledge providing more equitable outcomes with the reuse of wastewater is an overwhelming issue. There is sufficient evidence to question the current approach measuring faecal indicator organisms or coliform counts to establish microbiological quality of water and further complications arise from the presence of heavy metals, chemicals, hormones and endocrinedisrupting chemicals. The risks associated with populations exposed to recycled wastewater are uncertain requiring much more research, technology transfer and strengthened regulatory frameworks.
Keywords: Water quality, reuse of wastewater, climate change, public health risks, water quality testing, environmental protection, water use