Texas Plan to Develop New Water Sources May Not be Sufficient - Can Reuse Fill the Gap?
Wildfires, crop failures, stressed reservoirs, and declining aquifers are all consequences of the drought now covering over 90% of Texas. The National Weather Service has predicted that the drought will last until at least August, and conditions will push further east by then. More than 200 Texas counties have already received crop disaster designations due to extended drought conditions and at least 15 utilities (mostly in the Hill Country) have issued mandatory water use restrictions.
Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, Chair of the Water, Agriculture, and Rural Affairs Committee, said "We have to start earnestly seeking out other options." Read more.
Recycled Water Wetlands in North Texas Receives Conservation Award
The John Bunker Sands Wetland Center and Rosewood Ranches were awarded the Texas Leopold Conservation Award, the state's highest honor for private land conservation. Recycled water is filtered through their man-made wetlands, pumped into Lake Lavon, and stored for municipal use by WateReuse Texas member North Texas Municipal Water District. Read more.
Drought Reaches Crisis Levels in Southwest US, Leading to Water Restrictions and Wildfires
More than 98% of the Southwest was in drought in early May according to the US Drought Monitor, with nearly a quarter of Texas at exceptional drought levels. In Southern California, water district officials announced water restrictions and California's two largest reservoirs were at critically low levels. New Mexico has been fighting the largest wildfire in the US in 2022, which has been burning for 8 weeks. Read more.
EPA Advances Water Reuse Issues
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the Water Reuse Interagency Working Group, which is composed of senior officials from 15 federal agencies. The WateReuse Association led a coalition of water utilities, businesses, and other stakeholders to urge the establishment of this important task force and worked to have it enacted as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021. View the EPA's Water Reuse Action Plan (WRAP) Online Platform for additional collaborative progress updates.
The EPA has also recently added 5 PFAS chemicals to a screening and removal management list that helps them determine if response or remediation activities are needed. They will continue to develop a proposed PFAS National Drinking Water Regulation for publication in fall 2022, and anticipate finalizing the rule in fall of 2023. Read more.
Recycled Water Facility to be Built in West Texas
Surge, an independent oil and natural gas company, has entered an agreement with Gravity Water Midstream to install their fourth water recycling facility in the Permian Basin. Read more.