National Blue Ribbon Commission for Onsite Non-Potable Water Systems
Onsite non-potable water systems represent a significant opportunity to transform the way water is managed. For example, onsite water systems can reduce potable water use by approximately 25% in residential buildings, and up to 75% in commercial buildings.
In support of this goal, the Board of Directors of the WateReuse Association adopted a set of principles in March 2019 to guide the Association’s advocacy and engagement on alternative sources of water supply. The Association’s policy recognizes the role of onsite non-potable water systems in a community’s overall water management program.
Also in March 2019, the WateReuse Association partnered with the National Blue Ribbon Commission for Onsite Non-potable Water Systems. The National Blue Ribbon Commission, chaired by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), represents 12- states and the District of Columbia, and is a coalition of public health agencies and water/wastewater utilities advancing the safe, practical, and sustainable implementation of onsite non-potable water systems. The National Blue Ribbon Commission has made significant research contributions and advanced policies and regulations for onsite water reuse.
The National Blue Ribbon Commission was inspired by key recommendations from the Innovation in Urban Water Systems meeting, hosted by the SFPUC in May 2014 with support from The Water Research Foundation (WRF) and U.S. Water Alliance. This meeting was the first national convening of public health and water leaders to share knowledge on onsite non-potable water systems (ONWS) and discuss ways to help communities overcome policy barriers to implementation.
In September, 2019, the National Blue Ribbon Commission will hold its biannual meeting at the 34th Annual WateReuse Symposium.
To support the adoption of onsite non-potable systems, the commission has developed the following tools and resources based on best practices underway in local communities and world-class research:
- Making the Utility Case for Onsite Non-potable Water Systems
- A Guidebook for Developing and Implementing Regulations for Onsite Non-potable Water Systems
- Model State Regulation for Onsite Non-potable Water Programs
- Model Local Ordinance for Onsite Non-potable Water Programs
- Model Program Rules for Onsite Non-potable Water Programs
- Technical Appendix: A Guidebook for Developing and Implementing Regulations for ONWS
- Risk-Based Framework for the Development of Public Health Guidance for Decentralized Non-Potable Water Systems
- National Blue Ribbon Commission for Onsite Non-potable Water Systems Factsheet
- Blueprint for Onsite Water Systems: A Step-by-Step Guide for Developing a Local Program to Manage Onsite Water Systems