Government departments Industry associations Multimedia Frequently Asked Questions What is recycled water? Is the person using recycled water safe? Is recycled water safe for use around the home? Is recycled water safe for use in agriculture? How safe is recycled water? What are the potential risks associated with recycled water? What are the common units when talking about recycled water? How do I know where recycled water is used? How do we manage any risk associated with using recycled water? How does the reclamation or treatment process work for recycling water? Can recycled water be used for agriculture and amenity horticulture? How much water is recycled in Australia? What are Australia’s water resources? What can recycled water be used for? How is recycled water defined? Why recycle our water? Why do we recycle water and allocate it to the environment? Glossary
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Why do we recycle water and allocate it to the environment?

Beneficial environmental allocation is the planned addition of recycled water to surface or ground waters. The objectives of returning water back to the environment are:

  • improved environmental outcomes for biota
  • habitats and ecological processes
  • improved cultural values
  • contact recreation activities and aesthetic uses
  • approved water extractions for irrigation
  • manage water quality and quantity.

By default, some rivers in Australia already receive considerable benefit from the stream flow generated from sewage treatment plants. Removing this flow could impact significantly on environmental and social processes that are sustained by the current ‘discharge’, as flow will decrease significantly. There is substantial opportunity to increase the quality and quantity of water flowing down our rivers and streams by using specifically tailored recycled water.

See the section on Environmental Allocation of recycled water on our website.