For most people, once a toilet is flushed and the water and its contents are out of sight, they’re also out of mind. But with 844 million people lacking access to clean water today, and up to 40% of the planet’s population projected to be living in seriously water-stressed areas by 2035, wastewater could be part of a solution to humankind’s growing need for new water sourcing.
“Most people love the concept of ‘away,’” says Robert “Skip” Backus, CEO of the Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL), a nonprofit that coordinates classes, workshops, retreats and other activities that focus on sustainability, community and related topics. “They get rid of their garbage and it’s away, they flush their toilet and it’s away. They don’t have any other consequence, any other responsibility, when the reality is we have an intense responsibility and there is no place that’s away.”