High-quality, reliable drinking water supplies achieved through radical technology: nature

A man-made wetlands system between Dallas and Houston is adding 65,000 gallons of water to the area drinking supply.

The George Shannon Wetland Water Reuse Project is the first in the U.S. to bolster water supplies by naturally treating wastewater. The $75 million, 2,000-acre project has piqued the interest of water managers from Mexico City to Baghdad.

The system pumps water from the Trinity River through a series of shallow ponds of lush vegetation and birdlife.

The soil and plants filter out nitrates and phosphorous until the water runs as clear as a creek.

The water utility that runs the project says it's a safeguard against climate change and is cheaper than building a reservoir. Elsewhere in the U.S. man-made wetlands are addressing water quality rather than quantity issues.