The estimated volume of wastewater generated in North America each year is about 85 cubic kilometers, of which 61 cubic kilometers are treated. (A cubic kilometer of wastewater is 1 trillion liters -- about 220 billion US gallons).
Annual use of treated wastewater accounts for 2.3 cubic kilometers, which is only 3.8% of the wastewater treated in the region. Thus, while about 75% of the wastewater generated in North America is treated, only a small portion is used.
While the data describing wastewater generation and treatment are available in Canada, the data on wastewater use are not available. However, there are several projects underway suggest the use of wastewater in Canada at pilot scale.
An estimated 46% of California's annual reclaimed water use takes place in agriculture. In Florida, the proportion is 44%. Increasingly stressed water resources motivate wastewater use in Arizona, California and Texas, while limited groundwater motivates water recycling and reuse in Florida.
Complete information on wastewater generation, treatment, and use is available from only 9 of 32 countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Peru. Even this information is relatively old as the data pertain largely to 1996-2002.
Ten countries have partial data available: Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Panama, Paraguay, and Venezuela.
Only about 20% of generated wastewater undergoes treatment in the Latin American countries for which perti
|Contact: Terry Collins|
United Nations University