Date on Honors Thesis

Spring 4-27-2021


Environmental Engineering Technology



Examining Committee Member

Mike Kemp, PhD & PE, Advisor

Examining Committee Member

Bommanna G. Loganathan, PhD, Committee Member

Examining Committee Member

Clay Goodman, Instructor, Committee Member

Examining Committee Member

Warren Edminster, PhD, Committee Member


A common need among all people is water—we cannot survive without it. And yet, all around the world, achieving a high quality of drinking water is a constant struggle. This water crisis is brought on by many different factors. Some are natural, such as droughts and flooding, but as the effects of climate change continue to reveal themselves, some areas are becoming drier, while other areas are experiencing less predictable and harsher weather patterns.

Our current approach towards water is not sustainable, and we are starting to see that in both under-developed and developed countries alike. Indiscriminate use of water leading to groundwater depletion, low quality water treatment facilities, the growing demand for freshwater, and the overall undervaluing of water as a resource all lead to its lack of preservation and overall waste. To compensate for this growing need, implementing tactics that will enhance the optimal usage of our water resources is important.

Introducing direct potable reuse (DPR) systems, in which the effluent from a wastewater treatment plant undergoes the water treatment process and is reused as an alternative to discharging the effluent back into the environment. Wastewater can be directly reused to help curb shortages and reduce the amount of groundwater needed. The location experiencing a water shortage that will be identified and analyzed is Carlsbad, New Mexico. A theoretical DPR system was designed to find approximate dimensions. The necessary community outreach will be discussed, as will future benefits to demonstrate to the city of Carlsbad, the state of New Mexico, and surrounding communities that this technology is a feasible solution to the ever-present water scarcity crisis.