UNM Law Professor Denise Fort has been appointed to a committee of the National Research Council, the research arm of the National Academy of Sciences. The academy brings together committees of experts across the country to address critical national issues and provide advice to the government and public.
Fort is involved in a study looking at the potential for water reclamation and reuse of municipal wastewater to expand and enhance the nation's available water supply alternatives.
The committee will consider a wide range of uses, including drinking water, non-potable urban uses, irrigation, industrial process water, groundwater recharge, and water for environmental purposes.
Specific issues to be addressed include the benefits and barriers to reclaiming and reusing wastewater, the technology available, human health risks, costs and required research.
“I will provide a legal perspective on the existing legal structure for such projects and consider what changes would be required to support innovation,” says Fort. “This project is interesting to me because water needs are becoming more acute as population grows and the effects of climate change are felt, and a proactive approach to analyzing alternatives can be helpful to water managers across the U.S.”
The study is being sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency.