President Biden’s 2022 Budget Request Increases Federal Spending on Water Programs
On Friday, April 9, President Biden released a summary of his FY 2022 budget request. The request includes $11.2 billion for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a $2 billion or 21.3-percent increase from the 2021 enacted level. The request provides a total of $3.6 billion for water infrastructure, an increase of $625 million over the 2021 enacted level. These funds could be used to advance water infrastructure improvement efforts for community water systems, schools, and households, as well as broader efforts to improve drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. The request includes approximately $75 million to accelerate toxicity studies and research to inform the regulatory development of designating Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as hazardous substances and setting enforceable limits for PFAS under the Safe Drinking Water Act. This funding would also provide grants for technical assistance as state and local governments deal with PFAS contamination. WateReuse expects to see the full budget request in the coming weeks, and will report on additional details, including funding levels for the Bureau of Reclamation, at that time.
EPA Administrator Speaks in Support of Biden Water Infrastructure Plan; WateReuse Advocates for Investment in Water Recycling
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, Michael Regan, spoke in support of President Biden’s plans to invest in water infrastructure during a virtual roundtable last week with water utilities and community leaders. Administrator Regan highlighted the need for a stronger federal partnership in helping communities modernize their water infrastructure to build climate resilience. President Biden released the American Jobs Plan late last month. The plan calls for an investment of $2.25 trillion over eight years for water infrastructure, public transportation, high-speed broadband, manufacturing, and child and elderly care. The Administration spent last week building the case for its proposal and is expected to begin talks with Congress in the coming weeks. At this point it is not yet clear how congressional leaders will proceed; however, WateReuse is working closely with allies on the Hill to ensure that water recycling remains a key piece of any infrastructure package.
U.S. EPA Announces nearly $2.5 Million in Small Business Innovation Research; Water Reuse Companies Selected
The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded $2.5 million to small businesses to develop environmental technologies, including four companies focused on innovative technologies for water reuse and desalination. Faraday Technology, Inc. (Ohio) is developing a modular water reuse system to address contaminants of emerging concern. Photon Systems Inc. (California) will develop an in-situ sensor for microbial monitoring in water reuse systems and Pure Blue Tech Inc. (Washington) is exploring a novel membrane design to reduce fouling and promote efficient water reuse. Triangle Environmental Health Initiative (North Carolina) focuses on water and energy recovery by eliminating brine and producing a three output streams system. The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program provides awards in two phases. Phase 1 provides up to $100,000 for a six-month proof of concept and phase 2 provides up to $400,000 for further product development. The full list of awards address air quality, clean and safe water, homeland security, land revitalization, sustainable material management, and safer chemicals. See the full announcement here.
State Updates and Member Profiles
CA: Homebuilders Hall of Fame Recognizes Water Reuse Practitioner
When El Dorado County experienced a drought water emergency, developer William R. Parker and his team developed one of California’s largest water recycling projects. The project saves a billion gallons of fresh water per year by irrigating golf courses and landscaped public areas with recycled water. Parker’s long career in innovative community development earned him recognition in the California Homebuilding Foundation Hall of Fame. Read more.
CA: Purple Pipe Helps Qualcomm Meet Corporate Sustainability Measures
Following a corporate climate assessment of warming scenarios around the globe, water stress came to the top of list of concerns for Qualcomm, a multi-national technology company. In San Diego, the company built out reclaimed water connections to the city’s purple pipe system, allowing the facility to reduce their potable water use by more than 80 million gallons annually. The facility utilizes the reclaimed water for industrial and irrigation purposes. Read more.
WI: New Research & Development Facility Leads by Innovation Example with Water Reuse
Biotech company, Promega, uses a rainwater collection system to provide 1 million gallons of reclaimed water annually for toilet flushing and cooling towers at its new 280,000 square foot Kornberg research center. The building reduces its energy use by nearly 65% utilizing additional sustainability measures such as double-walled construction, radiant heath and cooling with geo-exchange, and photovoltaic panels. The facility’s sustainable structure is home to innovative research on molecular systems and cellular responses. Read more.
European Union Wants the Public to Tour Water Recycling Systems from their Smartphones
The European Union’s water industry is exploring the use of augmented reality (AR) for designing future projects with simulations and as a public outreach tool. AR combines computer-generated images with real world images, allowing for an immersive “real-life” experience. Researchers are beta testing an app that would allow the public to see inside a closed box water recycling system on their smartphones. Read more.
Member Resources and Benefits
Activity Booklet Provides Water Reuse Education for Late Elementary and Early Middle School Students
Looking for a resource to engage late elementary to early middle school students? Use the new Water Reuse Activity Booklet from WateReuse and Project WET to introduce students to the world of water reuse with fun activities that develop math and science skills. Students will learn about the urban water cycle, the treatment processes that make water safe to use again, and much more! Check out the booklet highlights in this short video.
The booklet is available on the Project WET store. WateReuse members interested in ordering 250 copies or more through April 30, 2021 will receive a 20% discount using the coupon code: WATEREUSE.
Job Opportunity from the WateReuse Career Center
- General Manager, Water Replenishment District of Southern California, Lakewood, CA
Member Engagement Opportunity
Get Recognition for Your Water Reuse Program: Utility of the Future 2021 Applications Open
The Utility of the Future Today recognition program honors forward-thinking, innovative water utilities that are providing resilient value-added service to communities, particularly in community engagement, watershed stewardship, and recovery of resources such as water, energy, and nutrients. Public and private water sector utilities of all sizes that can demonstrate achievement of the application requirements are encouraged to apply by May 14 at 5 p.m. EDT. Applicants must have no major permit violations in the year prior to the submission date of their applications. WateReuse partners with the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), and the Water Research Foundation (WRF) in leading this program, with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Energy (DOE). Since 2016, 183 utilities have received recognition under this innovative program.
Conferences, Webcasts and Events
Webcast: From Across the Globe: The Many Facets of Industrial Water Reuse
April 14, 2021
9 am PT | 12 pm ET
Join the co-editors of Sustainable Industrial Water Use: Perspectives, Incentives and Tools, Eric Rosenblum and Cheryl Davis, as they discuss global perspectives with industry experts. In this 90-minute webcast, four different authors will summarize their articles featured in the book, describing the challenges they confront planning, financing, designing and implementing water reuse to conserve water and reduce industrial pollution. Register here.
Webcast: Panel Discussion – California’s Draft DPR Regulations
April 14, 2021
11 am | 2 pm ET
Join WateReuse California (WRCA) for a brown bag lunch panel discussion of draft criteria for Direct Potable Reuse regulations. The release of the criteria is the culmination of a decade advocacy, legislation and research by WRCA and its members. WRCA will use this discussion to develop comments for the Water Board and the DPR Expert Panel to consider as they further develop the regulations. Register here.
Webcast: Digital Platform, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Potable Reuse Projects
June 1, 2021
11 am PT | 2 pm ET
In this webcast, our presenters will introduce how digital platforms including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can be used to improve asset management strategies, operational efficiencies, enhance source control, validate unit process performance, predict product water quality and making sound decisions for assessing suitability of product water for human consumption. Register here.
Stakeholder meeting for pending changes to TCEQ Chapter 217 relating to reclaimed wastewater collection systems. View the advocacy updates article for more details, or visit the Wastewater System Design Criteria Stakeholder Group for the proposed changes and future meeting announcements.
Friday, June 9, 2023
11:00 am to 2:00 pm ET (Remote)
More info TBD
1 pm PT | 4 pm ET (1 hour)
WateReuse Members: Free; Others: $49
Save the Date: Registration will open soon
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, agriculture accounts for more than 80% of the nation’s water consumption. Water reuse is uniquely suited to provide resilience, local control, environmental protection, and high water quality for this critical demand. Join our webcast to learn about two innovative approaches to securing America’s food supply with water reuse, strategies for overcoming obstacles, and gain insight on how USDA conservation programs can be a valuable resource in funding these projects.
- Chris Hay, Conservation Design Scientist, Iowa Soybean Association
- Julie Hawkins, State Conservationist, USDA-NRCS
- Mike McCullough, Director of External Affairs, Monterey One Water
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