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August 3, 2020

Reaching New Heights in Water Reuse: Register Early to Ensure Your Spot

Washington Update

House Energy and Water Funding Bill Moves Forward, Includes Funding for Water Reuse Grants

The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed a package of funding bills that includes the Energy and Water Appropriations bill for FY 2021. As WateReuse reported previously, the bill includes $11.8 million for the Bureau of Reclamation’s Title XVI-WIIN Water Reclamation and Reuse Program and $24 million for the Desalination and Water Purification Program.

Given the limited amount of time before the end of FY 2020, Congress will almost certainly pass a continuing resolution at some point in September to extend current funding levels and allow more time for negotiations. WateReuse is working with members of the House and Senate to increase funding for Title XVI-WIIN in final FY 2021 appropriations legislation.

U.S House of Representatives Passes Water Resources Development Act of 2020

Last week, the U.S. House passed its version of the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (WRDA). Unlike the version passed by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the House bill focuses narrowly on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its ability to carry out water resource development projects and studies.

WateReuse is actively working with members of the House and Senate to ensure that water recycling priorities that were included in the Senate version—and in separate infrastructure legislation in the House—are included in the final conference agreement for WRDA. House and Senate negotiators are expected to begin informally conferencing their respective bills over the August recess.

Negotiations Continue on Next COVID-19 Relief Package

The White House, Senate, and House of Representatives continued negotiations on the next COVID-19 relief package into the weekend with little progress. As supplemental unemployment benefits expired on July 31, no deal had been reached on either a comprehensive relief package or a more limited extension of unemployment benefits. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has set up votes on a limited extension; however, Democrats are expected to oppose the move in favor of negotiating a more comprehensive relief package.

The Senate released their $1 trillion COVID-19 relief package last week. The legislation does not include relief for municipalities nor support for low-income ratepayers, both of which were included in the most recent House-passed relief bill, the HEROES Act (H.R. 6800).

Report Finds $375 Million Funding Gap for State Drinking Water Programs

The Association of State Drinking Water Agencies (ASDWA) released an analysis last week on the necessary resources for states and territories to run their drinking water programs and protect public health. The report found the funding gap for 2020 to be $375 million, increasing to $469 million in 2029. The funding gap has increased by $197 million since the previous analysis in 2011 due to increasing demands on state programs to address unregulated contaminants such as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and harmful algal blooms (HABs), and to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The federal share of program funding has decreased by 8% since the previous analysis in 2011. The report was referenced in testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change on July 28.

COVID-19 Spotlight

Water is Essential to America’s COVID-19 Recovery

Politico highlighted the importance of water utilities in supplying water and sanitation during the coronavirus pandemic and estimated a $30 billion fallout across the water and wastewater sector. Moratoriums on utility cutoffs in combination with historic unemployment rates, the closing of offices, slowed production, and emptied airports all create the perfect storm for lost revenue essential to water and wastewater providers. The water sector continues to push Congress to address the water industry’s growing affordability challenge. Read More.

WateReuse Awards for Excellence

Submit a Nomination for the 2021 WateReuse Awards for Excellence 

Is your utility or business demonstrating leadership in advancing water recycling? Or do you know of an organization, individual, or partnership that has implemented an innovative solution that will inspire others? If so, submit a nomination for the 2021 WateReuse Awards for Excellence to get the recognition you deserve. Nominations are due September 30, 2020.

The 2021 WateReuse Awards for Excellence will recognize accomplishments for 2019 and 2020. Winners will be recognized in conjunction with the 36th Annual WateReuse Symposium, March 14-17, 2021. Submit a nomination now!

State Updates and Member Profiles

Georgia: Momentum is Building for Water Reuse Across State

Water Resources Planner for Athens-Clarke County, Marilyn Hall, shared Georgia’s journey with water reuse and recycling in a recent LinkedIn blog. She highlights the growing momentum as “water providers, regulators, and researchers continue to make new investments in both potable and non-potable water recycling.” Cities across Georgia are providing recycled water for industrial cooling, such as Douglasville-Douglas County Water and Sewer Authority, recycled water for irrigation in Savannah, Braselton, and Winder, and indirect potable reuse in Gwinnett County and the Clayton County Water Authority. Read More.

California: Governor Newsom Looks to Expand Water Recycling in Final Water Resilience Plan

Maryland: Bureau of Reclamation Doubles Federal Cost Share for East Coast Potable Reuse Pilot Study

The City of Westminster will receive double the federal funding it expected for a $700,000 pilot project that could lead to the first potable reuse program in the State of Maryland. The eight month pilot program will study the feasibility of purifying treated wastewater and returning it to the city’s reservoir. The Bureau of Reclamation was interested in supporting water reuse projects outside of the West Coast and looked to a city like Westminster that faces similar water security challenges. Instead of the typical 25% cost share, the federal grant will cover 50% of the study’s costs under Reclamation’s Desalination and Water Purification Program. The Maryland Department of the Environment is overseeing a study in tandem with the pilot to assess the nutrient loading to the reservoir. Read More.

Member Resources and Benefits

Use WateReuse Connect to Learn and Exchange Ideas with Peers

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, downstream flows, and COVID-19. 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 and Events

Bulk Registrations Available for 35th Annual WateReuse Virtual Symposium: For Every Five Registrations, Get One Free!

Join us for the 35th Annual WateReuse Virtual Symposium to provide your entire team with high quality professional development and training on all aspects of water reuse. For every five registrations purchased, a free registration will be added – a cost savings of over $500! Take advantage of this team discount and the lack of travel expenses to provide professional development to your core team as well as staff who may be new to water reuse, and save in professional development costs! Launching online September 14-16, 2020, the Annual WateReuse Symposium is the premier conference devoted to water recycling and offers more than 100 hours of technical presentations. Registrants can access the full program for up to 45 days – the virtue of going virtual is that you do not have to miss any content offerings! Register Now!

Upcoming Events

Jan
27
Wed
Water Reuse Policy in the 117th Congress and Biden Administration (Webcast)
Jan 27 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Water Reuse Policy in the 117th Congress and Biden Administration (Webcast)
Please join Washington insiders to examine what’s on the congressional agenda for 2021 and what water-related priorities the Biden Administration is likely to push in its first year. Register Now! Join Us! 2:00 – 3:00 pm ET| 11:00 am – 12:00 pm PT WateReuse Members: Free Others: $49 January 2021 marks the beginning of both a new administration in the White House and a new Congress. While Congress passed a number of key pieces of legislation in the final days of 2020, much work remains to be done, including the reauthorization of important water recycling programs. At the same time, the Biden Administration is coming in with an ambitious agenda related to climate change, the environment, and infrastructure, among other issues. Top Washington water sector lobbyists will discuss the status of key legislation and explain the opportunities to advance a water reuse policy agenda. Whether you plan to participate in our Virtual Water Week in the spring or are interested in what to expect from Congress and the new Administration in 2021, this webcast will be a national advocacy primer for water professionals.

Presenters

  • Mia O’Connell, President, O’Connell & Dempsey, LLC
  • Pete Evich, Vice President, Van Scoyoc Associates
  • Jon Freedman, Senior Vice President, Global Government Affairs, SUEZ Water Technologies & Solutions
  • Greg Fogel, Policy Director, WateReuse Association
 
Feb
3
Wed
Stormwater Capture Drivers, Impediments, and Future Visions (Webcast)
Feb 3 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Register Now!
Join Us!
2:00 – 4:00 pm ET| 11:00 am – 1:00 pm PT
Fee: Complimentary

Join a group of stormwater management leaders from around the US to discuss stormwater capture motivations and drivers, barriers to progress, and future directions. This group will touch on questions such as:

  • Why are communities pursuing stormwater capture for use now?
  • How do community interests in stormwater harvesting vary across the country?
  • What factors get in the way of progress?
  • Where do we want to be with stormwater capture in 20 years?

The audience will learn about the different motivators, unique strategies, and opportunities to market and advance stormwater capture across the U.S.

Presenters

  • Randy Bartlett, Fairfax County VA
  • Sharlene Leurig, Texas Water Trade/Austin Water Forward
  • Mark Doneux, St. Paul, MN Capitol Region Watershed District
  • James Moore, Georgia Association of Water Professionals
  • Enrique Zaldivar, City of Los Angeles
  • Lynn Broaddus, Water Environment Federation
  • Drew Wenzel, Google

This webinar will be the first of a series of four webinars as part of the National Water Reuse Action Plan, Action 2.3.3. Co-sponsors include the WateReuse Association, U.S. EPA, National Association of Municipal Stormwater Agencies (NMSA), Re-Inventing the Nation’s Urban Water Infrastructure (ReNUWIt), Water Environment Federation, and Johnson Foundation at Wingspread (JFW).

Save the Date

Join us for the second webinar in this series.

Developing Stormwater Treatment Standards – Where’s the Action?
February 23, 2021
2:00 – 4:00 pm ET

Feb
5
Fri
Containment of Covid-19 on a College Campus via Wastewater-Based Epidemiology (Webcast)
Feb 5 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

WateReuse Arizona Section Meeting & Webinar
9:00 am – 10:00 am Pacific | 12:00 – 1:00 pm Eastern
WateReuse Members: Free
Others: $49
PDHs: 1

Register Now!

Wastewater-based epidemiology was utilized to detect SARS-Cov-19 in the wastewater of student dorms upon re-entry of University of  Arizona students in the fall semester of 2020. Positive wastewater samples allowed for subsequent targeted clinical testing of dorm students and the identification of both symptomatic and asymptomatic Covid-19 infections. Early detection of infected individuals resulted in reduced exponential spread of Covid-19 and allowed the university to remain open throughout the semester.

Presenter

Ian Pepper, Director, WEST Center & Professor, Environmental Science

Dr. Pepper is an environmental microbiologist whose research has focused on the fate and transport of pathogens in air, water, soils and municipal wastes. More recently, he has investigated the potential for real-time detection of contaminants in water distribution systems. Dr. Pepper is Professor in the Community, Environment, and Policy Department in the UA College of Public Health, as well as Professor in the Department of Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering. In addition to his duties at the WEST Center, he is director of the National Science Foundation Water Quality Center at the UA.

He also teaches a graduate level laboratory class on Environmental Microbiology, and an undergraduate class on Pollution Science. He has co-authored numerous books and journal articles on Environmental Microbiology and Pollution Science, and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Microbiology, the American Society of Agronomy, and the Soil Science Society of America.

He received his Ph.D. in Soil Microbiology from The Ohio State University, M.S. in Soil Biochemistry from Ohio State, and B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Birmingham, Great Britain.

Feb
9
Tue
Los Angeles Chapter Meeting @ Virtual
Feb 9 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Zoom Meeting 

When: Feb 9, 2021 11:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYpceCqqz4tEtNiOeRgAqBZza_hcILDEx10

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Feb
17
Wed
Communicating about Potable Reuse and Public Health: Tools for Success (Webcast)
Feb 17 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Register Now!

Join Us!
2:00 – 3:00 pm ET| 11:00 am – 12:00 pm PT
WateReuse Members: Free
Others: $49

As more communities face water quantity challenges, water reuse is a viable option to expand drinking water sources.  Although all water is recycled as it moves through the environment, the practice of treating wastewater to be used for potable water is sometimes met with skepticism. Some of this stems from the “toilet to tap” campaigns that may have led to more rejection of water reuse than acceptance.

Quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) is a framework that evaluates the many factors impacting water reuse practices and management, as well as those influencing community perception.  With the emergence of new pathogens, such as SARS-CoV-2, the acceptance of water recycling as part of a community’s drinking water sustainability plan may be even more challenging.  This webcast will describe how QMRA may be used to communicate with stakeholders – including healthcare providers – the human health safeguards associated with water reuse implementation.

Presenters

  • Karla Mendez, PhD Candidate, UTHealth Houston School of Public Health, El Paso campus
  • Kristina Mena, MSPH, PhD, Regional Dean and Associate Professor, UTHealth Houston School of Public Health, El Paso campus
Feb
25
Thu
Los Angeles Chapter Virtual Happy Hour
Feb 25 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Virtual Happy Hour Via Zoom

Register in advance to participate:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwudeCsqTsoGt2oVFyg_xaPdNJ9GN6BzN-M

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Mar
12
Fri
Meeting of the Board of Directors – First Quarter 2021 @ Virtual
Mar 12 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

First Quarter:
Remote – Zoom
Friday, March 12, 2021
11:00 am to 2pm EST // 10 to 1 CST // 9:00 to 12 MST // 8:00 to 11 PST

Mar
15
Mon
36th Annual WateReuse Symposium
Mar 15 – Mar 25 all-day
36th Annual WateReuse Symposium

36th Annual WateReuse Symposium: Redefining Resiliency

March 15-25, 2021

Join us for a series of live and on demand virtual roundtables!

Learn More

Apr
13
Tue
Los Angeles Chapter Meeting @ Virtual
Apr 13 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Zoom Meeting

When: Apr 13, 2021 11:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwkd-6tqjsiH9ztJm_6CN-heC5W3IEcOK7V

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Jun
4
Fri
Meeting of the Board of Directors – Second Quarter 2021 @ Virtual
Jun 4 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

Second Quarter:
Remote – Zoom
Friday, June 4, 2021
11:00 am to 2pm EST // 10 to 1 CST // 9:00 to 12 MST // 8:00 to 11 PST

Join WateReuse

WateReuse is the only trade association that focuses solely on advancing laws, policy and funding to increase water reuse. Our niche strategy sets us apart from other organizations in the water industry.

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