If the average person starts drinking urine anytime soon, blame it on the astronauts.
NASA is using a new $154-million system that recycles pee, sweat and exhaled air at its International Space Station. It’s expected to save the agency $12 million a year, which is normally spent sending water to the ISS, according to a story on GOOD magazine’s website.
Similar systems have already been put to use. In an effort to keep water from the Pacific Ocean from entering its groundwater, Orange County created a water dam between the brine and the groundwater by injecting purified water into the basin. That water injection came from purified wastewater—treated sewage—using reverse osmosis for filtration. Independent audits found that the purified water was of a better quality than the water it’s being injected into in the groundwater basin.