Date of Graduation

Spring 5-22-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Management (MSEM)


College of Arts and Sciences


Environmental Management

First Advisor

Cindy Lowney


Extreme drought, water scarcity and population growth is forcing California to seek out new water sources. Reclaimed water is considered one of the best alternatives to alleviate water shortages and help meet the water demand sustainably. However, the environmental impacts of reclaimed water have not been fully studied to ensure that the overall benefits of reclaimed water do indeed outweigh the environmental, social, and economic costs. In this study a life cycle assessment (LCA) for potable (direct and indirect) and nonpotable reuse will be conducted to identify and quantify major environmental, social, and economic problems that are attributed to reclaimed water. Additionally, recommendations will be made to achieve optimal benefits for California by suggesting the best type of reuse to help meet water needs of municipalities with minimal impacts.