The thought of drinking your own urine might be disgusting to some people, but one Texas town thinks it might be the best option in the face of one of the state’s worst droughts ever.
Big Spring, Texas, home to the Colorado River Municipal Water District, will be experimenting with reprocessing wastewater produced by the town’s 27,000 residents, according to Discovery News. Sewage that is typically fed into a creek will be captured by a plant the district has just broken ground on.
“We’re taking treated effluent (wastewater), normally discharged into a creek, and blending it with (traditionally supplied potable) water,” district manager John Grant told Discovery News.
While the system will be recycling residents’ urine along with other components of their waste, it’s not nearly as direct as NASA’s urine recycling system, according to Space.com. On the last shuttle mission, astronauts experimented with a Forward Osmosis Bag that processed astronauts’ urine and sweat, creating potable water in microgravity.
When asked about that process, Grant told Discovery News, “I don’t think I could sell that one.”
However, with the continued drought in Texas, who knows what measures locals may have to resort to. Reuters has reported that the triple-digit heatwave that’s gripping much of the U.S. has been anchored in Texas and has limited the state to just 40 percent of its normal rainfall for this time of year.
In addition, the lack of moisture on the ground has limited the area’s capacity to create clouds, thus making daytime rainfall almost impossible, and perpetuating the drought.
According to the Associated Press, a U.N. climate panel plans to release a report in November examining the link between climate change and extreme weather events.