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As populations increase and climate variability occurs, North Carolina (NC) and the rest of the world are faced with a unique potable water challenge. The full effect of climate change is yet uncertain, although there is a growing awareness among the scientific community that the initial negative impact of climate change will be on the world’s most valuable resource: fresh water. The quality and quantity of available fresh water is impacting our everyday activities from supply to energy use to food production. In fact, the impact is being felt in this country and around the world right now. Millions of people are living in conditions that prohibit access to fresh water and more preciously, potable water. With the added burden of a soaring population increase, potable fresh water is, and will continue to be, our most precious resource. In this country, we rely on antiquated unsustainable large centralized wastewater and water treatment systems that require a tremendous amount of energy and are in need of updating, costing millions of dollars. These systems are inflexible in that they treat water twice and use once before disposal. A new paradigm in water management needs to be considered in order to overcome these issues and supply adequate potable water and wastewater treatment to a growing population. That new paradigm is smaller, decentralized treatment systems that treat at the point of generation and implement water reuse to supplement potable water for non-potable uses. Theoretically, household water reuse could reduce water demands by as much as 50%. NC, traditionally known as a water rich state, is feeling the effects of climate change on our water supply. Recent drought conditions have had an impact on our daily behavior and our ability to supply potable water to an increasing population. These conditions have lead to state legislative changes in the way NC approaches existing water supplies. In order to meet the existing and future water supply needs of the state, recent legislation has been adopted for a water reuse program to effectively establish laws and rules that safely allow for an individual homeowner to utilize and supplement part of its water usage with reclaimed wastewater. The initial step prior to adopting such laws and rules is establishing a public risk assessment looking at minimum standards of treatment in order to maintain safe levels of indicator organisms and pathogens that affect public and environmental health. Currently, NC regulations allow for restricted uses for wastewater recycling mostly aimed at urban and industrial settings thereby saving potable drinking waters for other, essential needs. For individual homes, the rules allow for recycled wastewater to be used only for irrigation and, in drought conditions, using Systems Thinking, this is counterproductive. The recycled wastewater could be used for non-potable functions such as toilet flushing and laundry. New laws and rules not implemented yet will expand reuse opportunities, but these will not go far enough to address mainstream local communities and households. In addition to new laws and rules addressing water reuse in individual homes, a regulatory agency needs to be identified in NC to streamline the permitting process, educate and enforce. The logical choice would be Environmental Health. As yet to be proven from a public and environmental health perspective is the smaller “decentralized” treatment systems, including individual homes wanting to utilize reclaimed wastewater for uses inside the home. Thus, this project looks at what steps need to be overcome in order to utilize reclaimed water as a supplement for potable water uses for individual homeowners. Implementing a shifting the burden archetype conceptual model, the leverage points identified in order to facilitate change were the perceived need to revise the laws and rules, establish laws and rules that favor homeowners, education and willingness to reuse wastewater, invest in reuse technology and the high cost of centralized systems. Another component of this project is once the laws and rules are established, a single regulatory entity needs to be identified in order to streamline the review, permitting and regulation process and to avoid repetitive reviews by multiple agencies. Note: These documents have not been revised or edited to conform to agency standards. The findings and conclusions in these reports are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.