Senate Expected to Move Water Infrastructure Bill this Week – Includes WateReuse Priorities
The U.S. Senate is expected to consider the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 this week. As we previously reported, the bill contains top WateReuse Association policy priorities, including reauthorization of the Alternative Water Source Grants Pilot Program and creation of a Federal Interagency Working Group on Water Reuse. The bill also reauthorizes other important programs such as the Clean and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Programs, Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Grants Program, Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act Program, and resiliency programs, among others. WateReuse will continue to track and report on progress and relevant changes to the legislation.
Senate Confirms White House Environmental Council Nominee; Biden Nominates EPA Water Head
Last week, the Senate voted 53-45 to confirm Brenda Mallory as Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). President Biden also announced the formal nomination of Radhika Fox to head the Office of Water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Fox has been serving in an interim capacity as Acting Assistant Administrator of the Office while she awaits confirmation.
Energy Department Announces New Round in Solar Desalination Competition
In the second round of the Solar Desalination Prizes, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $5 million for the eight semi-finalists. The competition focuses on advancing the use of solar-thermal energy for purification of high salinity water to reduce the energy consumption required in traditional desalination processes.The second round provides awardees with $250,000 in cash and $100,000 in support vouchers to build a fully operational prototype of their design. The prize is part of the Water Security Grand Challenge. Read more.
State Updates and Member Profiles
Welcome New Members!
The WateReuse Association welcomes the following new and renewing members:
- City of Las Vegas (Nevada)
- MWH Constructors
CA: Advanced Water Purification Program Releases Educational Video
The East County Advanced Water Purification Program recently released a new outreach video, The Clear Solution, which provides education on the important role of water recycling in providing a drought proof water supply. The program will use state-of- the-art technology to purify East San Diego County’s recycled water to produce up to 30 percent of East County’s drinking water supply. The video explains advance water treatment technology to help build trust with the community. The East County AWP is a partnership between Padre Dam Municipal Water District, the City of El Cajon, the County of San Diego, and Helix Water District.
FL: Florida’s Potable Reuse Bill Moves to Governor’s Desk
Florida’s legislature unanimously passed a reclaimed water bill (SB 64) that incentivizes potable reuse, sending the bill to Governor Ron DeSantis’ desk for signature. Under the bill, utilities would submit plans to the Department of Environmental Protection by 2032 to begin “eliminating non-beneficial surface water discharges” by treating the water to drinking water quality standards. With the Florida population expected to grow by 23% through 2040, legislators see the bill as a way to ensure a resilient water supply. DeSantis has supported water reuse projects in the past, announcing $1.1 million for reclaimed water projects last September and he is expected to address the bill soon. Read more.
Member Spotlight: Bahrain Partners with Stantec on Water Reuse Guidelines
Stantec signed an agreement with Bahrain’s National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA) to develop guidelines and procedures for the reuse of treated effluent. The project is funded by the Green Climate Fund aiming to conserve Bahrain’s water resources and improve the public perception and acceptance of water reuse. Stantec will hold a series of workshops on water quality, health risk assessments, and the use of the proposed guidelines and procedures. Read more.
Mexico: General Motors Targets Water Reduction with Zero Liquid Discharge System
In a recent interview, General Motors’ global energy manager, Al Hindreth, discussed the company’s plan for a 35% reduction in water use by 2035. To meet the reduction, GM’s San Luis Potosí Assembly plant in Mexico is using a reverse osmosis system to treat and reuse process water for the facility’s paint and machining processes and irrigation. Onsite water recycling reduces the plant’s dependence on the local well water supply. Along with reuse, GM emphases the use of advanced water management data to track and adjust water usage. Read more.
Australia: Recycled Water Provides Sustainable Solution for Ecotourism Camp
A remote ecotourism camp in Australia’s Gondwana Rainforests is using an onsite water reuse system to provide safe, low impact treatment that reduces nutrients and meets the location’s strict treatment limits on dispersed effluent. The facility also incorporates reuse of rainwater in sinks, showers, and toilets to minimize the impact on the rainforest. Read more.
Member Engagement Opportunities
Get Engaged: Join the WateReuse Industrial and Commercial Reuse Committee; First Meeting May 4
The WateReuse Association has established a new Industrial and Commercial Reuse Committee, an opportunity for members to engage on high-priority areas and network with colleagues. The committee will engage in advocacy, communications, and educational and outreach activities to facilitate greater adoption of water recycling for industrial and commercial applications. The committee will convene quarterly meetings led by Ken Martins (co-chair) of Stantec and Wayne Young (co-chair) of JEA. The committee is holding the first meeting on Tuesday, May 4 at 2:00-3:00 pm EDT (11:00-12:00 pm PDT). Committee membership is open to any employee of a member organization. If you are interested in joining a committee, please email Aliza Furneaux (email@example.com) to learn more.
WateReuse to Advise 50L Home Coalition
During its 2nd Quarter meeting, the WateReuse Association’s Board of Directors approved an invitation for the Association to serve as an advisor to the 50L Home Coalition, an initiative that seeks to develop a highly water efficient residential unit that incorporates water recycling as a central feature. The coalition was formed by the World Economic Forum, the World Bank’s Water Resources Group, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development in response to a recent water shortage crisis faced by residents of Cape Town, South Africa. The initiative seeks to develop a residential unit for households located in regions of the world, including in the United States, that may face threats to local water supplies due to drought and/or over drafts of groundwater supply.
As an advisor to the Coalition, the Association will be available as a resource to advise on specific design-related elements of potential residential prototypes, consistent with the Association’s policy on Onsite Non-potable Water Systems and its work with the National Blue Ribbon Commission on Onsite Non-potable Water Systems. The Association’s Committee on Onsite, Decentralized and Distributed Water Recycling Systems, Chaired by Paula Kehoe of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, will oversee the Association’s involvement with the Coalition and serve as liaison. Several WateReuse members have joined the Coalition as members, including Suez, Arcadis, Stantec, and Jacobs. For more information about this effort, please contact Aliza Furneaux at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Member Resources and Benefits
Have a Question You’d Love to Ask a Peer? Use WateReuse Connect to Find the Answer
In this time of social distancing, opportunities for peer-to-peer networking are more important than ever. WateReuse members can use WateReuse Connect to access a member-to-member network of more than 7,000 water recycling practitioners, business leaders, regulators, academics, and technology providers. Recent discussion topics have included innovative partnerships, scheduling of recycled water deliveries, and steam generation. Post your questions, observations, and unique challenges on our online platform to benefit from the unique experiences of other members across the nation and around the world. It’s simple to use with your member login information. For help accessing WateReuse Connect, please email Member Services.
Conferences, Webcasts and Events
Call for Presentations: 2021 WateReuse California Annual Conference
WateReuse California is accepting proposals for presentations at its 2021 Annual Conference taking place September 19-21 in Los Angeles and virtually. To be considered for a technical presentation, submit a presentation proposal by May 14, 2021. Presenters will be notified by July 2, 2021 if their proposal has been selected. Read more.
EPA Webcast: Water Utilities as Anchor Institutions: Exploring How Utilities Add to the social, Economic and Environmental Fabric of Community
April 30, 2021
10 am PT | 1 pm ET (1.5 hours)
Join this webinar to hear from utility leaders about how water utilities can use their physical structures, (built capital), economic and financial assets (financial capital), and human or social capital to create maximum shared value in their communities. Register here.
Webcast: Water Reuse in Bioenergy Production – A Pathway to Conservation and Resiliency
May 12, 2021
11 am PT | 2 pm ET (1 hour)
This webcast presents findings from an Argonne National Laboratory analyses of potential recycled water use to produce biofuels from conventional crops and algae and generate power by incorporating technology, climate, and geospatial-temporal components. Findings suggest a significant potential of producing advanced biofuel while doubling the amount of recycled water in use nationally. Register here.
Webcast: Digital Platform, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Potable Reuse Projects
June 1, 2021
11 am PT | 2 pm ET (1 hour)
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.
1 pm PT | 4 pm ET (1 hour)
WateReuse Members: Free; Others: $49
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.
- Dr. 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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