Local governments are responsible for supplying a safe, reliable and locally controlled water supply. Water and wastewater services—as well as the pumps, pipes and treatment facilities that support these services—are funded with fees paid by utility customers.
However, the cost of maintenance and operations, development of non-traditional water supplies, new capital improvement projects to meet growing demand as well as compliance with state and federal regulatory requirements, can easily exceed the potential revenue from rate payers.
A National Imperative and Incentives for Local Solutions
Congress and the Administration can establish a national imperative for safe, reliable and locally controlled water supplies and align laws, regulation and funding to help states and local governments achieve that goal.
The WateReuse Association’s federal priority areas—as established by the National Legislative and Regulatory Committee—include the following:
- Water Reuse Infrastructure Financing
- National Priorities Water Research Program
- Permitting of Potable Reuse
- Investment Tax Credit for Industrial Reuse
To learn about our ongoing education and advocacy in Washington, DC to support these priorities, visit Advocacy in Action.
Alternative Sources of Water Supply and Onsite Non-Potable Water Systems
WateReuse adopted a set of principles to guide the Association’s advocacy and engagement on alternative sources of water supply and onsite non-potable water systems. The policy recognizes the role of onsite decentralized water recycling systems in a community’s overall water management program, as well as the emerging role that stormwater capture and reuse can play in a community’s overall water recycling program. The principles emphasize that decisions regarding the use of these practices should remain at the local level and encourages sponsors of onsite water recycling projects to coordinate efforts with centralized system operators.
National Policy and Regulation
Several congressional committees have varying degrees of responsibility for oversight and authorization of reuse related issues.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has guidelines for water reuse that states enforce through their own regulations. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Guidelines for Water Reuse represent the international standard for best practices in water reuse.
The Bureau of Reclamation in the U.S. Department of Interior manages, protects, and develops water and related resources. Reclamation identifies and investigates opportunities to reclaim and reuse water and naturally impaired ground and surface water in the 17 Western states and Hawaii. Its programs provide funding for the planning, design, and construction of water recycling and reuse projects, on a project specific basis, in partnership with local government.